Wed Positive Quotes

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She was terrific to hold hands with. Most girls if you hold hands with them, their goddam hand dies on you, or else they think they have to keep moving their hand all the time, as if they were afraid they'd bore you or something. Jane was different. We'd get into a goddam movie or something, and right away we'd start holding hands, and we wouldn't quit till the movie was over. And without changing the position or making a big deal out of it. You never even worried, with Jane, whether your hand was sweaty or not. All you knew was, you were happy. You really were.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
Alcohol makes other people less tedious, and food less bland, and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing. The only worthwhile miracle in the New Testament—the transmutation of water into wine during the wedding at Cana—is a tribute to the persistence of Hellenism in an otherwise austere Judaea. The same applies to the seder at Passover, which is obviously modeled on the Platonic symposium: questions are asked (especially of the young) while wine is circulated. No better form of sodality has ever been devised: at Oxford one was positively expected to take wine during tutorials. The tongue must be untied. It's not a coincidence that Omar Khayyam, rebuking and ridiculing the stone-faced Iranian mullahs of his time, pointed to the value of the grape as a mockery of their joyless and sterile regime. Visiting today's Iran, I was delighted to find that citizens made a point of defying the clerical ban on booze, keeping it in their homes for visitors even if they didn't particularly take to it themselves, and bootlegging it with great brio and ingenuity. These small revolutions affirm the human.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Because when everything is said and done... the world runs on kindness. It simply has to, or we'd never be a able to bear ourselves. It might not seem so to you now, but it will when you're older." ~Ariel
Kathleen Glasgow (Girl in Pieces)
No, no," said Taran slowly, "It would be folly to think of attacking them." He smiled quickly at Fflewddur. "The bards would sing of us," he admitted, "but we'd be in no position to appreciate it.
Lloyd Alexander (The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain, #1))
A young woman, newly wed, may find herself in the delightful position of wanting to do nothing without the company of her darling husband. She may indeed discover that she spends all her waking hours with her fellow to the exclusion of every other friend or family member. This is understandable, but wholly unacceptable, to society.
Anna Godbersen (Envy (Luxe, #3))
Love, they said, burns you and builds you. But with you, there’s no ash. Just light.
Kamand Kojouri
I don’t care if you’re black, white, brown, yellow, red, green, or purple.’ We’ve all said it. Posited as proof of our nonprejudicial ways, but if you painted any one of us purple or green, we’d be mad as hell.
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
Of course we'll win. And even if we were to lose, we'd win at losing.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
This time we weren’t disturbed either by traveling through time or a cheeky gargoyle demon. While “Hallelujah” was running, the kiss was gentle and careful, but then Gideon buried both hands in my hair and held me very close. It wasn’t a gentle kiss anymore, and my reaction surprised me. I suddenly felt very soft and lightweight, and my arms went around Gideon’s neck of their own accord. I had no idea how, but at some point in the next few minutes, still kissing without a break, we landed on the green sofa, and we went on kissing there until Gideon abruptly sat up and looked at his watch. “Like I said, it really is a shame I’m not allowed to kiss you anymore,” he remarked rather breathlessly. The pupils of his eyes looked huge, and his cheeks were definitely flushed. I wondered what I looked like myself. As I’d temporarily mutated into some kind of human blancmange, there was no way I could get out of my half-lying position. And I realized, with horror, that I had no idea how much time had passed since Bon Jovi stopped singing “Hallelujah.” Ten minutes? Half an hour? Anything was possible. Gideon looked at me, and I thought I saw something like bewilderment in his eyes. “We’d better collect our things,” he said at last. “And you need to do something about your hair—it looks as if some idiot has been digging both hands into it and dragging you down on a sofa. Whoever’s back there waiting for us will put two and two together—oh, my God, don’t look at me like that.” “Like what?” “As if you couldn’t move.” “But I can’t,” I said, perfectly seriously. “I’m a blancmange. You’ve turned me into blancmange.” A brief smile brightened Gideon’s face, and then he jumped up and began stowing my school things in my bag. “Come along, little blancmange. Stand up.
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
I want to believe we can be different, but when I look around the church, at the women comparing the length of their braids, reveling in another woman’s punishment, scheming and clawing for every inch of position, I can’t help thinking the men might be right. Maybe we’re incapable of more. Maybe without the confines placed upon us, we’d rip each other to shreds, like a pack of outskirt dogs.
Kim Liggett (The Grace Year)
The left is expert at framing debates. They have buzzwords they use to direct the debate toward unwinnable positions for you. They are tolerant, diverse, fighters for social justice; if you oppose them, by contrast, you are intolerant, xenophobic, and in favor of injustice. Now, all these terms are – to be polite – a crock, if considered as absolute moral values. The left is wildly intolerant of religious people and conservatives; that’s why they’re interested in forcing Christian bakers to cater to same-sex weddings. They are anti-intellectual diversity, particularly in areas of American life in which they predominate; that’s why they stifle conservatism on campus and in the media. And as for social justice, if social is supposed to be opposed to individual, then social justice is by definition unjust. The left’s use of magical buzzwords places you in a corner, against supposed universal values that aren’t universal or universally held.
Ben Shapiro (How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument)
and the Buck women found themselves in the novel position of having two healthy, strong men at their bidding.
Sarah Mayberry (Almost a Bride (The Great Wedding Giveaway, #3))
We'd taken up our positions on the benches between the school hall and a newly-installed outdoor basketball court. Being hip-hoppers, we were obliged to be obsessed with basketball. None of us had a ball.
Nikesh Shukla (Coconut Unlimited)
If my starting offer is “I get to rob, beat, enslave, and kill you and your kind, but you don’t get to rob, beat, enslave, or kill me or my kind,” I can’t expect you to agree to the deal or third parties to ratify it, because there’s no good reason that I should get privileges just because I’m me and you’re not.32 Nor are we likely to agree to the deal “I get to rob, beat, enslave, and kill you and your kind, and you get to rob, beat, enslave, and kill me and my kind,” despite its symmetry, because the advantages either of us might get in harming the other are massively outweighed by the disadvantages we would suffer in being harmed (yet another implication of the Law of Entropy: harms are easier to inflict and have larger effects than benefits). We’d be wiser to negotiate a social contract that puts us in a positive-sum game: neither gets to harm the other, and both are encouraged to help the other.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
What, after all this time, is the purpose of mass schooling supposed to be? Reading, writing, and arithmetic can’t be the answer, because properly approached those things take less than a hundred hours to transmit — and we have abundant evidence that each is readily self-taught in the right setting and time. Why, then, are we locking kids up in an involuntary network with strangers for twelve years? Surely not so a few of them can get rich? Even if it worked that way, and I doubt that it does, why wouldn’t any sane community look on such an education as positively wrong? It divides and classifies people, demanding that they compulsively compete with each other, and publicly labels the losers by literally de-grading them, identifying them as “low-class” material. And the bottom line for the winners is that they can buy more stuff! I don’t believe that anyone who thinks about that feels comfortable with such a silly conclusion. I can’t help feeling that if we could only answer the question of what it is that we want from these kids we lock up, we would suddenly see where we took a wrong turn. I have enough faith in American imagination and resourcefulness to believe that at that point we’d come up with a better way — in fact, a whole supermarket of better ways.
John Taylor Gatto (Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling)
The universality of reason is a momentous realization, because it defines a place for morality. If I appeal to you do do something that affects me—to get off my foot, or not to stab me for the fun of it, or to save my child from drowning—then I can't do it in a way that privileges my interests of yours if I want you to take me seriously (say, by retaining my right to stand on your foot, or to stab you, or to let your children drown). I have to state my case in a way that would force me to treat you in kind. I can't act as if my interests are special just because I'm me and you're not, any more than I can persuade you that the spot I am standing on is a special place in the universe just because I happen to be standing on it. You and I ought to reach this moral understanding not just so we can have a logically consistent conversation but because mutual unselfishness is the only way we can simultaneously pursue our interests. You and I are both better off if we share our surpluses, rescue each other's children when they get into trouble, and refrain from knifing each other than we would be if we hoarded our surpluses while they rotted, let each other's children drown, and feuded incessantly. Granted, I might be a bit better off if I acted selfishly at your expense and you played the sucker, but the same is true for you with me, so if each of us tried for these advantages, we'd both end up worse off. Any neutral observer, and you and I if we could talk it over rationally, would have to conclude that the state we should aim for is the one where we both are unselfish. Morality, then, is not a set of arbitrary regulations dictated by a vengeful deity and written down in a book; nor is it the custom of a particular culture or tribe. It is a consequence of the interchangeability of perspectives and the opportunity the world provides for positive-sum games.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
It foreshadowed a problem we’d confront going forward—we were winning without the people who were the arbiters of opinion in Washington, people who were going to withhold a measure of praise so long as they weren’t occupying the constellation of positions around Obama.
Ben Rhodes (The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House)
We all sought affirmation. That’s why, as a species, we were such hypercritical assholes. We wanted proof we’d picked the right career or married the right person, even if said proof was of the at least we’re not them variety. We wanted our lives to tally in the positives column.
Deborah Wilde (The Unlikeable Demon Hunter (Nava Katz, #1))
Have you ever noticed the way a groom looks at his bride during the wedding? I have. Perhaps it’s my vantage point. As the minister of the wedding, I’m positioned next to the groom. Side by side we stand, he about to enter the marriage, I about to perform it. By the time we reach the altar, I’ve been with him for some time backstage as he tugged his collar and mopped his brow. His buddies reminded him that it’s not too late to escape, and there’s always a half-serious look in his eyes that he might. As the minister, I’m the one to give him the signal when it’s our turn to step out of the wings up to the altar. He follows me into the chapel like a criminal walking to the gallows. But all that changes when she appears. And the look on his face is my favorite scene in the wedding.
Max Lucado (When Christ Comes: The Beginning of the Very Best)
At home I walked through a haze of belongings that knew, at least vaguely, who they belonged to. Grampar’s chair resented anyone else sitting on it as much as he did himself. Gramma’s shirts and jumpers adjusted themselves to hide her missing breast. My mother’s shoes positively vibrated with consciousness. Our toys looked out for us. There was a potato knife in the kitchen that Gramma couldn’t use. It was an ordinary enough brown-handled thing, but she’d cut herself with it once, and ever after it wanted more of her blood. If I rummaged through the kitchen drawer, I could feel it brooding. After she died, that faded. Then there were the coffee spoons, rarely used, tiny, a wedding present. They were made of silver, and they knew themselves superior to everything else and special. None of these things did anything. The coffee spoons didn’t stir the coffee without being held or anything. They didn’t have conversations with the sugar tongs about who was the most cherished. I suppose what they really did was physiological. They confirmed the past, they connected everything, they were threads in a tapestry.
Jo Walton (Among Others)
If We Consciously Think Positive, Express Gratitude And Keep Out Negative Thoughts, We’d Always Feel Happy”.
Venugopal Acharya
How do you expect me to provide you with a demon tear if I don’t have a body? I can’t cry you a goddamn river while stuck in a bronze reproduction of an ugly-ass alchemist. A dead one, at that.” “You can move your eyes,” Navin ventured. “And you’re a demon. Can’t you do some kind of demon magic and produce tears?” “Demon magic? Have you been eating Ironwood mushrooms? Demons don’t do magic. Demons curse. We tear apart reality and feed on the blood of innocents.” Navin shivered. “Stop being so dramatic. You’re hardly in the position to tear apart reality. You’d have trouble tearing open a packet of potato chips right now.” Newton made a horrific snorting sound that might have been laughter. “Ah, dear boy. And you said you weren’t interested in comedy. If only I could cry tears of laughter right now, we’d be peachy.” “Shut up a minute. I’m trying to think.” “I know. I can hear your two brain cells rubbing together.
Karen Mahoney (The Stone Demon (The Iron Witch, #3))
Doing a geographic” is a term alcoholics often use for acting on the impulse to start over by moving to a new town, or state, instead of making any internal changes. It’s the anywhere-but-here part of the disease that says, “Remove yourself from this, go someplace new, and everything will be better.” Two years into our Florida stint, my mother pulled a geographic as radical as the move from Rochester. The new plan was to head for California. She enrolled in the mathematics graduate program at the University of California’s shiny new campus in San Diego, and as soon as our elementary school let out for the summer, she put us into a new Buick station wagon – a gift from her parents – and drove us across the country. You’d think we’d have protested at yet another move. After all, having been duped before, we were in no position to believe that the next move would be any different. But I have no memory of being unhappy about the news. Because that’s what often happens when an alcoholic parent is doing a geographic. She pulls you in and, before you know it, you, too, believe in the promise of the new place.
Katie Hafner (Mother Daughter Me)
He splashed his face over and over in a desperate attempt to wash away the sight of Megan’s grandmother’s full womanhood staring him in the face. He groaned and washed faster. “Josh?” Megan asked, standing in the doorway, her voice husky with sleep. He continued to douse his face. “I just saw the most horrifying thing I can even imagine.” She stiffened. “What?” “Your grandmother. In a downward dog yoga position. In the nude.” Megan chuckled. “Oh, dear. Mom had mentioned that Gram was going through a nudist phase, but I didn’t know she’d combined it with yoga.
Denise Grover Swank (The Substitute (The Wedding Pact, #1))
Duke by Day, Rogue by Night is a rollicking romp of a pirate romance in the classic style. From ship deck to London ballroom, Katherine Bone’s story is packed with intrigue, and the disguise of her rough and dangerous hero as a town popinjay positively delights." Katharine Ashe, author of HOW TO A LADY WEDS A ROGUE
Katherine Bone (Duke by Day, Rogue by Night (Nelson's Tea #1))
Small acts of persuasion matter, because there is much less distance between people's beliefs than we often suppose. We easily confuse the distance between people's political positions with the intensity of their convictions about them. It is entirely possible for people to become sharply divided, even hostile, , over relatively minor disagreements. Americans have fought epic political battles over things like baking wedding cakes and kneeling during the national anthem. And we once fought a shooting war over a whiskey tax of ten cents per gallon. The ferocity of these battles has nothing to do with the actual distance between different positions, which, when compared to the entire range of opinions possible in the world, is almost negligible. None of this means that we can persuade our opponents easily. Persuading people to change their minds is excruciatingly difficult. It doesn't always work, and it rarely works the way we think it will. But it does work, and the fact that it works makes it possible for us to have a democracy.
Michael Austin (We Must Not Be Enemies: Restoring America's Civic Tradition)
What I found telling was what Trump and his team didn’t ask. They were about to lead a country that had been attacked by a foreign adversary, yet they had no questions about what the future Russian threat might be. Nor did they ask how the United States might prepare itself to meet that threat. Instead, with the four of us still in our seats—including two outgoing Obama appointees—the president-elect and his team shifted immediately into a strategy session about messaging on Russia. About how they could spin what we’d just told them. Speaking as if we weren’t there, Priebus began describing what a press statement about this meeting might look like. The Trump team—led by Priebus, with Pence, Spicer, and Trump jumping in—debated how to position these findings for maximum political advantage. They were keen to emphasize that there was no impact on the vote, meaning that the Russians hadn’t elected Trump. Clapper interjected to remind them of what he had said about sixty seconds earlier: the intelligence community did not analyze American politics, and we had not offered a view on that.
James B. Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
These are all issues in search of clarity. The good listener knows that, via conversation with another person, we’d ideally move from a confused, agitated state of mind to a calmer and more focused one. Together, through talking, we would work out what is really at stake. But, in reality, this tends not to happen because few of us are sufficiently aware of how to achieve this clarity from our conversation. There aren’t enough good listeners. People tend to assert rather than analyse. They restate in many different ways the fact that they are worried, excited, sad or hopeful, and their interlocutor listens but does not help them to discover more. Good listeners fight against this with a range of conversational gambits. They hover as the other speaks; they offer encouraging remarks; they make gentle positive gestures: a sigh of sympathy, a nod of encouragement, a strategic ‘hmm’ of interest. All the time, they are egging the other to go deeper into issues. They love saying: ‘Tell me more about…’; ‘I was fascinated when you said…’; ‘Why did that happen, do you think?’ or ‘How did you feel about that?
The School of Life (How to Think More Effectively: A guide to greater productivity, insight and creativity)
A tiredness crept over her that would shame narcoleptics. She could sleep anytime, anywhere, in any position. No hyperbole. I mean, we'd be at the dinner table, and I'd be in mid-sentence when I'd detect a fresh, eerie silence in the room, the kind that didn't sound to my blind man's ears like somebody listening. I'd just carry on with dinner, and hope that she'd made it to bed this time.
Ryan Knighton (C'mon Papa: Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark)
Really, Emmanuel,’ said Julie, ‘wouldn’t you think that all these rich people, so happy only a short while ago, had built their fortunes, their happiness and their social position, while forgetting to allow for the wicked genie; and that this genie, like the wicked fairy in Perrault’s stories1 who is not invited to some wedding or christening, had suddenly appeared to take revenge for that fatal omission?
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
BACHELOR NUMBER ONE IS A NO-GO, she texted Trish. HE TALKED TOO MUCH. Within seconds, Trish texted back. ISN’T TALKING A GOOD THING ON A FIRST DATE? Of course, Trish was trying to put a positive spin on things. As the happily-married-with-child best friend of a single, thirty-three-year-old woman, it was part of the job description. AS IN, DONKEY FROM SHREK TOO MUCH, Sidney typed back. OUCH. THAT’S NOT GOOD. No kidding.
Julie James (It Happened One Wedding (FBI/US Attorney, #5))
What we need to do is treat some of our thoughts like door to door salesmen. If someone comes to your door and asks if he can come inside and throw some dirt on your floor to demonstrate his vaccuum cleaner - you would probably tell him “No thanks! See you later!” And yet - if a friend stopped by with a meatloaf and wanted to visit - we’d say “Come on in!” We need to stop being PASSIVE about what thoughts can take residence in our head.
Josh Hatcher (Manlihood: The 12 Pillars of Masculinity)
As the hours tick by, and the refreshments disappear, the tension in the room is palpable. I want to believe we can be different, but when I look around the church, at the women comparing the length of their braids, reveling in another woman's punishment, scheming and clawing for every inch of position, I can't help thinking the men might be right. Maybe we're incapable of more. Maybe without the confides placed upon us, we'd rip each other to shreds, like a pack of outskirt dogs.
Kim Liggett (The Grace Year)
Now,” Samite continued, “after Essel has just spent time warning you about generalities and how they often don’t apply, I’m going to use some. Because some generalities are true often enough that we have to worry about them. So here’s one: men will physically fight for status. Women, generally, are more clever. The why of it doesn’t matter: learned, innate, cultural, who cares? You see the chest-bumping, the name-calling, performing for their fellows, what they’re really doing is getting the juices flowing. That interval isn’t always long, but it’s long enough for men to trigger the battle juice. That’s the terror or excitation that leads people to fight or run. It can be useful in small doses or debilitating in large ones. Any of you have brothers, or boys you’ve fought with?” Six of the ten raised their hands. “Have you ever had a fight with them—verbal or physical—and then they leave and come back a little later, and they’re completely done fighting and you’re just fully getting into it? They look like they’ve been ambushed, because they’ve come completely off the mountain already, and you’ve just gotten to the top?” “Think of it like lovemaking,” Essel said. She was a bawdy one. “Breathe in a man’s ear and tell him to take his trousers off, and he’s ready to go before you draw your next breath. A woman’s body takes longer.” Some of the girls giggled nervously. “Men can switch on very, very fast. They also switch off from that battle readiness very, very fast. Sure, they’ll be left trembling, sometimes puking from it, but it’s on and then it’s off. Women don’t do that. We peak slower. Now, maybe there are exceptions, maybe. But as fighters, we tend to think that everyone reacts the way we do, because our own experience is all we have. In this case, it’s not true for us. Men will be ready to fight, then finished, within heartbeats. This is good and bad. “A man, deeply surprised, will have only his first instinctive response be as controlled and crisp as it is when he trains. Then that torrent of emotion is on him. We spend thousands of hours training that first instinctive response, and further, we train to control the torrent of emotion so that it raises us to a heightened level of awareness without making us stupid.” “So the positive, for us Archers: surprise me, and my first reaction will be the same as my male counterpart’s. I can still, of course, get terrified, or locked into a loop of indecision. But if I’m not, my second, third, and tenth moves will also be controlled. My hands will not shake. I will be able to make precision movements that a man cannot. But I won’t have the heightened strength or sensations until perhaps a minute later—often too late. “Where a man needs to train to control that rush, we need to train to make it closer. If we have to climb a mountain more slowly to get to the same height to get all the positives, we need to start climbing sooner. That is, when I go into a situation that I know may be hazardous, I need to prepare myself. I need to start climbing. The men may joke to break the tension. Let them. I don’t join in. Maybe they think I’m humorless because I don’t. Fine. That’s a trade I’m willing to make.” Teia and the rest of the girls walked away from training that day somewhat dazed, definitely overwhelmed. What Teia realized was that the women were deeply appealing because they were honest and powerful. And those two things were wed inextricably together. They said, I am the best in the world at what I do, and I cannot do everything. Those two statements, held together, gave them the security to face any challenge. If her own strengths couldn’t surmount an obstacle, her team’s strengths could—and she was unembarrassed about asking for help where she needed it because she knew that what she brought to the team would be equally valuable in some other situation.
Brent Weeks (The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2))
We are by the river bank. The river is very, very low. Almost dry. But mostly is wet stones. Grey on the outside. We walk on the stones for awhile. You pick up a stone and crash it onto the others. As it breaks, it is quite wet inside and is very colorful, very pretty. I pick up a stone and break it and run toward the pieces to see the colors. They are beautiful. I laugh and bring the pieces back to you and you are doing the same with your pieces. We keep on crashing stones for hours, anxious to see the beautiful new colors. We are playing. The playfulness of our activity does not presuppose that it is a particular form of play with its own rules. Rather the attitude that carries us through the activity, a playful attitude, turns the activity into play. Our activity has no rules, though it is certainly intentional activity and we both understand what we are doing. The playfulness that gives meaning to our activity includes uncertainty, but in this case the uncertainty is an openness to surprise. This is a particular metaphysical attitude that does not expect the world to be neatly packaged, ruly. Rules may fail to explain what we are doing. We are not self-important, we are not fixed in particular constructions of ourselves, which is part of saying that we are open to self-construction. We are not worried about competence. We are not wedded to a particular way of doing things. While playful we have not abandoned ourselves to, nor are we stuck in, any particular ‘world.’ We are there creatively. We are not passive. Playfulness is, in part, an openness to being a fool, which is a combination of not worrying about competence, not being self-important, not taking norms as sacred and finding ambiguity and double edges a source of wisdom and delight. So, positively, the playful attitude involves openness to surprise, openness to being a fool, openness to self-construction or reconstruction and to construction or reconstruction of the ‘worlds’ we inhabit playfully. Negatively, playfulness is characterized by uncertainty, lack of self-importance, absence of rules or a not taking rules as scared, a no worrying about competence and a lack of abandonment to a particular construction of oneself, others and one’s relation to them. In attempting to take a hold of oneself and one’s relation to others in a particular ‘world,’ one may study, examine and come to understand oneself. One may then see what the possibilities for play are for being one is in that ‘world.’ One may even decide to inhabit that self fully in order to understand it better and find its creative possibilities. All of this is just self-reflection, and is quite different from residing or abandoning oneself to the particular construction of oneself that one is attempting to take a hold of.
María Lugones
Look you," Pandora told him in a businesslike tone, "marriage is not on the table." Look you? Look you? Gabriel was simultaneously amused and outraged. Was she really speaking to him as if he were an errand boy? "I've never wanted to marry," Pandora continued. "Anyone who knows me will tell you that. When I was little, I never liked the stories about princesses waiting to be rescued. I never wished on falling stars, or pulled the petals off daisies while reciting 'he loves me, he loves me not.' At my brother's wedding, they handed out slivers of wedding cake to all the unmarried girls and said if we put it under our pillows, we would dream of our future husbands. I ate my cake instead. Every crumb. I've made plans for my life that don't involve becoming anyone's wife." "What plans?" Gabriel asked. How could a girl of her position, with her looks, make plans that didn't include the possibility of marriage? "That's none of your business," she told him smartly. "Understood," Gabriel assured her. "There's just one thing I'd like to ask: What the bloody hell were you doing at the ball in the first place, if you don't want to marry?" "Because I thought it would be only slightly less boring than staying at home." "Anyone as opposed to marriage as you claim to be has no business taking part in the Season." "Not every girl who attends a ball wants to be Cinderella." "If it's grouse season," Gabriel pointed out acidly, "and you're keeping company with a flock of grouse on a grouse-moor, it's a bit disingenuous to ask a sportsman to pretend you're not a grouse." "Is that how men think of it? No wonder I hate balls." Pandora looked scornful. "I'm so sorry for intruding on your happy hunting grounds." "I wasn't wife-hunting," he snapped. "I'm no more interested in marrying than you are." "Then why were you at the ball?" "To see a fireworks display!" After a brief, electric silence, Pandora dropped her head swiftly. He saw her shoulders tremble, and for an alarming moment, he thought she had begun to cry. But then he heard a delicate snorting, snickering sound, and he realized she was... laughing? "Well," she muttered, "it seems you succeeded." Before Gabriel even realized what he was doing, he reached out to lift her chin with his fingers. She struggled to hold back her amusement, but it slipped out nonetheless. Droll, sneaky laughter, punctuated with vole-like squeaks, while sparks danced in her blue eyes like shy emerging stars. Her grin made him lightheaded. Damn it.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
Jay came over as soon as Violet called him; she didn’t even have to give him a reason. He was there in less than ten minutes. Of course, he’d heard about what had happened to Hailey. Everyone had. Buckley was a small town, and news traveled fast . . . especially bad news. When he got there she told him what she was thinking about doing. It was nothing dangerous, at least as far as she was concerned, and she hadn’t expected Jay to disagree with her about it. So when he did, she was more than a little bit surprised by his stubborn reaction. “No way,” he insisted, and his voice left little room for argument. “There is no way you’re going to go around looking for this guy.” Violet was shocked by the tone of his voice, and by the harsh look he shot at her. She thought maybe he misunderstood her plan, so she tried to explain it to him again. “Jay, I’m only going to public places, like malls and parks, to see if I can get a feeling for who this guy is. Who knows, maybe he goes to places like that to find them, maybe he hands out there waiting to pick out a girl to . . . you know, kidnap.” She tried to make her argument sound logical, but there was a desperate edge to her voice. “I’m not going out alone . . . you can go with me. We’ll just hang out at different places to see if we can find him. And if we do, we’ll call my uncle. It’s not like we’d do anything stupid.” “’Anything stupid’ would be going out to look for a killer. I won’t let you go looking for trouble, Violet. This guy is dangerous, and you need to leave it to the cops. They know what they’re doing. And they’re armed.” He sounded like he thought she’d lost her mind, and maybe she had, but she had already made her decision. “Look, I’m doing this. I was just asking you to come along with me.” “You’re not,” he insisted. “Even if I have to tell your uncle and your parents what you’re planning. I promise you, you’re not doing it.” She could feel her temper flaring. “You can’t stop me, Jay. If you tell on me, then I’ll lie. I’ll bat my eyes innocently and promise not to go looking for this guy. But I swear to you that every chance I get, even if I have to sneak out of the house to do it, I will be trying to find him.” She stood up, meaning to glare back at him, but instead found herself craning her neck just so she could see his face. The awkward position didn’t steal nay of her thunder. She refused to back down. “I mean it, Jay. You can’t stop me.” Jay glared incredulously back at her. Emotions ranging from disbelief to frustration and back to disbelief again flashed darkly across his face. He seemed to be fighting with himself now. But when she heard him sigh, and then saw him raking his hand restlessly through his hair, she knew she’d won. His icy determination seemed to melt right before her eyes. “Damn it, Violet.” He sighed brusquely, wrapping his arms around her and holding her tightly. “What choice do I have?” he asked as he practically squeezed the life out of her. She wasn’t sure how to react to him now. It definitely wasn’t a tender hug, but the close contact made her undisclosed desires stir all the same. She couldn’t help wondering if he felt even a fraction of what she did. His arms were strong, and she felt safe in the circle of them. She’d never imaged that she could feel so comfortable and so uncomfortable at the same time. She waited within the space of his embrace to see where this was going. “So, how is this going to work?” he demanded roughly against the top of her head.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Obama occasionally pointed out that the post–Cold War moment was always going to be transitory. The rest of the world will accede to American leadership, but not dominance. I remember a snippet from a column around 9/11: America bestrides the world like a colossus. Did we? It was a story we told ourselves. Shock and awe. Regime change. Freedom on the march. A trillion dollars later, we couldn’t keep the electricity running in Baghdad. The Iraq War disturbed other countries—including U.S. allies—in its illogic and destruction, and accelerated a realignment of power and influence that was further advanced by the global financial crisis. By the time Obama took office, a global correction had already taken place. Russia was resisting American influence. China was throwing its weight around. Europeans were untangling a crisis in the Eurozone. Obama didn’t want to disengage from the world; he wanted to engage more. By limiting our military involvement in the Middle East, we’d be in a better position to husband our own resources and assert ourselves in more places, on more issues. To rebuild our economy at home. To help shape the future of the Asia Pacific and manage China’s rise. To open up places like Cuba and expand American influence in Africa and Latin America. To mobilize the world to deal with truly existential threats such as climate change, which is almost never discussed in debates about American national security.
Ben Rhodes (The World As It Is: Inside the Obama White House)
Two days before our wedding, we were making out in a dark, hazy movie theater. It was one of the most romantic moments of my life. Until Marlboro Man’s whiskers scratched my sensitive face, and I winced in pain. When we returned to my parents’ house, Marlboro Man walked me to the door, his arm tightly around my waist. “You’d better get some sleep,” he said. My stomach jumped inside my body. “I know,” I said, stopping and holding him close. “I can’t believe it’s almost here.” “I’m glad you didn’t move to Chicago,” Marlboro Man whispered, chuckling the soft chuckle that started all this trouble in the first place. I remember being in that same spot, in that same position, the night Marlboro Man had asked me not to go. To stay and give us a chance. I still couldn’t believe we were here.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
If we were going to determine what was broken in the radios, we needed a power source. With no electricity, this meant batteries. [...] we'd walk to the trading center and look for used cells that had been tossed in the waste bins. [...] First we'd test the battery to see if any juice was left in it. We'd attach two wires to the positive and negative ends and connect them to a torch bulb. The brighter the bulb, the stronger the battery. Next we'd flatten the Shake Shake carton and roll it into a tube, then stack the batteries inside, making sure the positives and negatives faced in the same direction. Then we'd run wires from each end of the stack to the positive and negative heads inside the radio, where the batteries normally go. Together, this stack of dead batteries usually contained enough juice to power a radio.
William Kamkwamba (The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope)
Comparing marriage to football is no insult. I come from the South where football is sacred. I would never belittle marriage by saying it is like soccer, bowling, or playing bridge, never. Those images would never work, only football is passionate enough to be compared to marriage. In other sports, players walk onto the field, in football they run onto the field, in high school ripping through some paper, in college (for those who are fortunate enough) they touch the rock and run down the hill onto the field in the middle of the band. In other sports, fans cheer, in football they scream. In other sports, players ‘high five’, in football they chest, smash shoulder pads, and pat your rear. Football is a passionate sport, and marriage is about passion. In football, two teams send players onto the field to determine which athletes will win and which will lose, in marriage two families send their representatives forward to see which family will survive and which family will be lost into oblivion with their traditions, patterns, and values lost and forgotten. Preparing for this struggle for survival, the bride and groom are each set up. Each has been led to believe that their family’s patterns are all ‘normal,’ and anyone who differs is dense, naïve, or stupid because, no matter what the issue, the way their family has always done it is the ‘right’ way. For the premarital bride and groom in their twenties, as soon as they say, “I do,” these ‘right’ ways of doing things are about to collide like two three hundred and fifty pound linemen at the hiking of the ball. From “I do” forward, if not before, every decision, every action, every goal will be like the line of scrimmage. Where will the family patterns collide? In the kitchen. Here the new couple will be faced with the difficult decision of “Where do the cereal bowls go?” Likely, one family’s is high, and the others is low. Where will they go now? In the bathroom. The bathroom is a battleground unmatched in the potential conflicts. Will the toilet paper roll over the top or underneath? Will the acceptable residing position for the lid be up or down? And, of course, what about the toothpaste? Squeeze it from the middle or the end? But the skirmishes don’t stop in the rooms of the house, they are not only locational they are seasonal. The classic battles come home for the holidays. Thanksgiving. Which family will they spend the noon meal with and which family, if close enough, will have to wait until the nighttime meal, or just dessert if at all? Christmas. Whose home will they visit first, if at all? How much money will they spend on gifts for his family? for hers? Then comes for many couples an even bigger challenge – children of their own! At the wedding, many couples take two candles and light just one often extinguishing their candle as a sign of devotion. The image is Biblical. The Bible is quoted a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. What few prepare them for is the upcoming struggle, the conflict over the unanswered question: the two shall become one, but which one? Two families, two patterns, two ways of doing things, which family’s patterns will survive to play another day, in another generation, and which will be lost forever? Let the games begin.
David W. Jones (The Enlightenment of Jesus: Practical Steps to Life Awake)
Put your glasses on mate ….. Come down from there, you’re gonna kill yourself …. Well, what does your Method Statement say? …. Right, let’s get you re-inducted. You need a reminder of site rules ….. Where are your outriggers, mate? ….. Put your glasses on ….. Put your glasses on …. Put your glasses on …. Oh, they steam up, do they? I’ve never heard that one before …. Where’s your mask? If you breathe this shit in you’re going to kill yourself. Silicosis is incurable ….. Right STOP! Do not reverse another inch without a banksman ….. Don’t put your glasses on just because you see me walk around the corner. They won’t protect MY eyes …. Hook yourself on, what’s the matter with you? Are all you scaffolders superhuman or something? ….. Put your glasses on ….. Oi! What stops me walking right in there? Where’s your barriers and signage? ….. Oi! I’m getting showered in fucking sparks here. And so is that can of petrol ….. Put your glasses on …. Where’s the flashback arrestor on this bottle of propane? ….. Hey, pal, stop welding until you’ve sheeted up ….. What are you doing climbing up there? Where’s your supervisor? What did he say about access in this morning’s Safe Start briefing? Nothing? Right, he can sit through another induction tomorrow ….. Where are the retaining pins to the joint clamps in this concrete pump line? SEAMUS! Fucking deal with this, will you? ….Put your glasses on …. Hey! Hey! Come here! Why have you got a nail instead of an ‘R’ clip to the quick-hitch system on your excavator bucket? NO! IT WON’T DO! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? If that bucket falls on someone they’re not going to get up again. And you trust a fucking nail to hold it in position! Take this machine out of service immediately until you’ve got the proper ‘R’ clip! ….. Put your glasses on …. Where’s the edge protection. Who removed the edge protection? Right, let me phone for a scaffolder ….. Put your glasses on ….. Oi! Get out from under there! Never, ever stand underneath a suspended load. Even if all the equipment’s been inspected, which it obviously has, you can never trust the crane driver. He can be taken ill suddenly ….. Come here, mate, let’s have a little chat. Why are you working on Fall Arrest? You’re supposed to be working on Fall Restraint (FR ‘restrains’ you going near the perimeter edge of the building, FA ‘arrests’ your fall if, well, if you fall. If you’re hanging off a building we’ve got less than ten minutes to reach you before you start going into toxic shock brought on by suspension trauma. In other words, we need a Rescue Plan, which is why we’d prefer people work on Fall Restraint)
Karl Wiggins (Dogshit Saved My Life)
My four things I care about are truth, meaning, fitness and grace. [...] Sam [Harris] would like to make an argument that the better and more rational our thinking is, the more it can do everything that religion once did. [...] I think about my personal physics hero, Dirac – who was the guy who came up with the equation for the electron, less well-known than the Einstein equations but arguably even more beautiful...in order to predict that, he needed a positively-charged and a negatively-charged particle, and the only two known at the time were the electron and the proton to make up, let's say, a hydrogen atom. Well, the proton is quite a bit heavier than the electron and so he told the story that wasn't really true, where the proton was the anti-particle of the electron, and Heisenberg pointed out that that couldn't be because the masses are too far off and they have to be equal. Well, a short time later, the anti-electron -- the positron, that is -- was found, I guess by Anderson at Caltech in the early 30s and then an anti-proton was created some time later. So it turned out that the story had more meaning than the exact version of the story...so the story was sort of more true than the version of the story that was originally told. And I could tell you a similar story with Einstein, I could tell it to you with Darwin, who, you know, didn't fully understand the implications of his theory, as is evidenced by his screwing up a particular kind of orchid in his later work...not understanding that his theory completely explained that orchid! So there's all sorts of ways in which we get the...the truth wrong the first several times we try it, but the meaning of the story that we tell somehow remains intact. And I think that that's a very difficult lesson for people who just want to say, 'Look, I want to'...you know, Feynman would say, "If an experiment disagrees with you, then you're wrong' and it's a very appealing story to tell to people – but it's also worth noting that Feynman never got a physical law of nature and it may be that he was too wedded to this kind of rude judgment of the unforgiving. Imagine you were innovating in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The first few times might not actually work. But if you told yourself the story, 'No, no, no – this is actually genius and it's working; no, you just lost three consecutive bouts' -- well, that may give you the ability to eventually perfect the move, perfect the technique, even though you were lying to yourself during the period in which it was being set up. It's a little bit like the difference between scaffolding and a building. And too often, people who are crazy about truth reject scaffolding, which is an intermediate stage in getting to the final truth.
Eric R. Weinstein
Sometimes we posit a scenario in which we were both young when we met, and we imagine that we would have had kids, if only because I would have wanted them. And we would have raised them with all our best efforts and unflagging commitment. But we also would have become different people, made different choices, and had a different relationship with each other; more distant and harried, more responsible, more grown-up. Instead, we have this life, and we are these people. We get to go to bed every night together, alone, and wake up together, alone. Our shared passions thrill and satisfy us, and our abundant freedoms—to daydream; to cook exactly the food we want when we want it; to drink wine and watch a movie without worrying about who’s not yet asleep upstairs; to pick up and go anywhere we want, anytime; to do our work uninterrupted; to shape our own days to our own liking; and to stay connected to each other without feeling fractured—are not things we’d choose to give up for anyone, ever.
Kate Christensen (Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on The Decision Not To Have Kids)
Behind Garber’s desk was a man I had never seen before. He was a colonel. He was in BDUs. His tape said: Willard, U.S. Army. He had iron-gray hair parted in a schoolboy style. It needed a trim. He had steel-rimmed eyeglasses and the kind of gray pouchy face that must have looked old when he was twenty. He was short and relatively squat and the way his shoulders failed to fill his BDUs told me he spent no time at all in the gym. He had a problem sitting still. He was rocking to his left and plucking at his pants where they went tight over his right knee. Before I had been in the room ten seconds he had adjusted his position three times. Maybe he had hemorrhoids. Maybe he was nervous. He had soft hands. Ragged nails. No wedding band. Divorced, for sure. He looked the type. No wife would let him walk about with hair like that. And no wife could have stood all that rocking and twitching. Not for very long. I should have come smartly to attention and saluted and announced: Sir, Major Reacher reports.
Lee Child (The Enemy (Jack Reacher, #8))
Still on the subject of eating, we don’t have our own plates, or our own knives and forks or cups. Like most of what we use, they’re communal, they’re handed out at random. There’s no chance for anything to become imbued, to come alive through fondness. Nothing here is aware, no chair, no cup. Nobody can get fond of anything. At home I walked through a haze of belongings that knew, at least vaguely, who they belonged to. Grampar’s chair resented anyone else sitting on it as much as he did himself. Gramma’s shirts and jumpers adjusted themselves to hide her missing breast. My mother’s shoes positively vibrated with consciousness. Our toys looked out for us. There was a potato knife in the kitchen that Gramma couldn’t use. It was an ordinary enough brown-handled thing, but she’d cut herself with it once, and ever after it wanted more of her blood. If I rummaged through the kitchen drawer, I could feel it brooding. After she died, that faded. Then there were the coffee spoons, rarely used, tiny, a wedding present. They were made of silver, and they knew themselves superior to everything else and special.
Jo Walton (Among Others)
LEADING LESSONS Live in a state of gratitude. When I was a little boy, my dad taught us how to pray. We’d give thanks for meals; in church we’d thank God for his blessings. But as we grow older, expressing gratitude seems less important. We’re not as appreciative of the little things; we lose sight of what we already have in our quest to have more. I’m not a religious person anymore, but I see the value in prayer. It’s a brilliant incantation you deliver at any time during the day. You physically change your body--you fold your arms, you bow your head--and then you give thanks out loud for all that’s good in your life while expressing faith that what’s bad will get better. Gratitude reminds us to not give up, to have a positive attitude, and to open our hearts. When I was in London, I would gaze out the train window and think to myself, How lucky am I? Not every kid gets to follow his passion with every fiber of his being. I was so grateful, and that made everything I experienced so much richer. Today, in the crazy rush that is my life and my career, I constantly have to remind myself to stop and take stock.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
Red: Maintaining health, bodily strength, physical energy, sex, passion, courage, protection, and defensive magic. This is the color of the element of fire. Throughout the world, red is associated with life and death, for this is the color of blood spilled in both childbirth and injury. Pink: Love, friendship, compassion, relaxation. Pink candles can be burned during rituals designed to improve self-love. They’re ideal for weddings and for all forms of emotional union. Orange: Attraction, energy. Burn to attract specific influences or objects. Yellow: Intellect, confidence, divination, communication, eloquence, travel, movement. Yellow is the color of the element of air. Burn yellow candles during rituals designed to heighten your visualization abilities. Before studying for any purpose, program a yellow candle to stimulate your conscious mind. Light the candle and let it burn while you study. Green: Money, prosperity, employment, fertility, healing, growth. Green is the color of the element of earth. It’s also the color of the fertility of the earth, for it echoes the tint of chlorophyll. Burn when looking for a job or seeking a needed raise. Blue: Healing, peace, psychism, patience, happiness. Blue is the color of the element of water. This is also the realm of the ocean and of all water, of sleep, and of twilight. If you have trouble sleeping, charge a small blue candle with a visualization of yourself sleeping through the night. Burn for a few moments before you get into bed, then extinguish its flame. Blue candles can also be charged and burned to awaken the psychic mind. Purple: Power, healing severe diseases, spirituality, meditation, religion. Purple candles can be burned to enhance all spiritual activities, to increase your magical power, and as a part of intense healing rituals in combination with blue candles. White: Protection, purification, all purposes. White contains all colors. It’s linked with the moon. White candles are specifically burned during purification and protection rituals. If you’re to keep but one candle on hand for magical purposes, choose a white one. Before use, charge it with personal power and it’ll work for all positive purposes. Black: Banishing negativity, absorbing negativity. Black is the absence of color. In magic, it’s also representative of outer space. Despite what you may have heard, black candles are burned for positive purposes, such as casting out baneful energies or to absorb illnesses and nasty habits. Brown: Burned for spells involving animals, usually in combination with other colors. A brown candle and a red candle for animal protection, brown and blue for healing, and so on.
Scott Cunningham (Earth, Air, Fire & Water: More Techniques of Natural Magic (Llewellyn's Practical Magick))
When I arrived, I immediately saw the mother of an ex-boyfriend, the kind of ex-boyfriend that would make you want to look as good as possible if you ran into his mother at a shower when you were several months pregnant. She saw me, smiled politely, and made her way across the room to visit with me. We hugged, exchanged pleasantries, and caught up on what we’d both been doing. As we talked, I fantasized about her reporting to her son, my ex, the next day. Oh, you should have seen Ree. She was positively glowing! You should have seen how wonderful she looked! Don’t you wish you had married her? Deep into our small talk, I made mention of how long it had been since she and I had seen each other. “Well…I did see you recently,” she replied. “But I don’t think you saw me.” I couldn’t imagine. “Oh really?” I asked. “Where?” I hardly ever came to my hometown. “Well,” she continued. “I saw you pulling out of McDonald’s on Highway Seventy-five one morning a few weeks ago. I waved to you…but you didn’t see me.” My insides suddenly shriveled, imagining myself violently shoving breakfast burritos into my mouth. “McDonald’s? Really?” I said, trying my best to play dumb. “Yes,” my ex’s mother replied, smiling. “You looked a little…hungry!” “Hmmm,” I said. “I don’t think that was me.” I skulked away to the bathroom, vowing to eat granola for the rest of my pregnancy.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
But the actual mail was delivered to the little brick post office on the main drag and distributed to the keyed, ornate boxes inside. My family had one of the lower numbers because we’d inherited our box as it was passed down through the Shepherd line. “So your family is Levan royalty, then?” Moses had teased. “Yes. We Shepherds rule this town,” I replied. “Who has PO Box number 1?” he inquired immediately. “God,” I said, not missing a beat. “And box number 2?” He was laughing as he asked. “Pam Jackman.” “From down the street?” “Yes. She’s like one of the Kennedys.” “She drives the bus, right?” he asked. “Yes. Bus driver is a highly lauded position in our community.” I didn’t even crack a smile. “So boxes 3 and 4?” “They are empty now. They are waiting for the heirs to come of age before they inherit their mailboxes. My son will someday inherit PO Box #5. It will be a proud day for all Shepherds.” “Your son? What if you have a daughter?” His eyes got that flinty look that made my stomach feel swishy. Talking about having children made me think about making babies. With Moses. “She’s going to be the first female bull-rider who wins the national title. She won’t be living in Levan most of the time. Her brothers will have to look after the family name and the Shepherd line . . . and our post office box,” I said, trying not to think about how much I would enjoy making little bull-riders with Moses.
Amy Harmon (The Law of Moses (The Law of Moses, #1))
Bodies influence the space that surrounds them; they tell us whatever we can learn about that space. Does this mean that, possibly, there is no such thing as space by itself? Could it be that space is nothing but a theoretical construction invented for the purpose of giving the observed world an ordered framework? Could it be that we perceive as the reality of space is nothing but the influence of abstract laws of nature on the behavior of massive objects or bodies? That space is wedded to these bodies and will vanish if they do? This is a respectable position to take. For more than two thousand years, it has coexisted with the view of space as the primary stage that permits material objects to make their appearance. Natural philosophers who theorized about space can easily be charted on a scale between these two extreme positions. On the left is Thales of Miletus, whose "space" is nothing but one shapeless fluid; on the other side, there is Democritus, with his empty space in which material objects whir around. Leibniz on the left, Von guericke and Newton on the right. Albert Einstein juxtaposed these two concepts of space as, on one hand, the positional qualities of the physical world (left) and, on the other, the container of all physical objects (right) in his left-hand case, there is no space without an object; on the right, such an object cannot be thought of except in conjunction with the space that surrounds it-thereby assigning to space a higher reality than that possessed by objects.
Henning Genz (Nothingness: The Science Of Empty Space)
The bad news is, everyone looks great on paper and in interviews, but everyone also looks exactly the same. People have figured out how to present themselves as competent, qualified managers who won’t make waves and who won’t make mistakes—but nobody is able to say, “I’ve got ideas that are really new and different!” People are afraid to present themselves as innovators, and consequently innovation itself has become a lost art. This is a problem for American business. But it’s also a golden opportunity for anyone who values originality and knows how to put it to work. You can instantly set yourself apart from the crowd by focusing on what you’ll do right instead of what you won’t do wrong. To do that, you’ll need insight about your strengths and weaknesses, and intelligence about how to maximize your contribution. But most of all you’ll need inspiration—the power to create energy and excitement by what you say, how you look, and above all, what you do. Those are some of the topics we’ll be talking about in this chapter. As a first step toward making yourself unforgettable to others, consider how you see yourself in your own eyes. Image is built upon self-perception. If your self-perception is out of sync with the way you want to be perceived, you will have a hard time making a positive impression—especially if you’re not even fully aware of the problem. This happens to many people. For some reason, we tend to think less of ourselves than we’d like. We also tend to have a lower opinion of ourselves than other people have of us. It
Dale Carnegie (Make Yourself Unforgettable: How to Become the Person Everyone Remembers and No One Can Resist)
I suppose she’s very proud of you.” “Do you find that surprising?” he drawled. “No!” She cast him a considering glance. “Why shouldn’t she? You’re a very skilled investigator, I’m told.” “But not skilled enough to suit your ladyship,” he said, feeling a perverse urge to bait her. “I didn’t say that. From what I’ve seen, you’re very thorough.” She turned her gaze to the road ahead. “It’s no wonder that you’re being considered for the position of Chief Magistrate.” His stomach knotted. He should have known that every conversation with Celia had the potential to be a bog-ridden moor. “I suppose your grandmother told you about that.” A troubled expression crossed her face. “She says you must be careful not to be accused of any impropriety. That it would hurt your prospects for advancement. She says I should take care not to let you be caught in that position.” “Oh, she does, does she?” Mrs. Plumtree was even more Machiavellian than he’d given her credit for. “And I see you listen to her very well, for here we are, alone together again. At your instigation.” A blush suffused her cheeks that so enhanced her beauty, he had to look away. “Don’t worry,” she said, “no one will ever know about this. I’ll make sure of that.” “Like no one knew about our being alone together yesterday?” “No one did!” she protested. “Right. And your grandmother didn’t guess that we’d been together, either. The last time anyone saw us, we were walking off arm in arm, remember?” “Oh, but I told her some nonsense about how we parted before I came into the north wing.” “And she believed you,” he said skeptically. “Yes.” She chewed on her lower lip. “Well, I think she did.” “Doesn’t sound like it.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
One day in the dojo (the martial-arts studio) before our karate class began, I witnessed the power of a concentrated focus unlike anything that I’d ever seen growing up in the heartland of northern Missouri. On that day, our instructor walked into the room and asked us to do something very different from the form and movement practices that were familiar to us. He explained that he would seat himself in the center of the thick mat where we honed our skills, close his eyes, and go into a meditation. During this exercise, he would stretch his arms out on either side of his body, with his palms open and facedown. He asked us to give him a couple of minutes to “anchor” himself in this T position and then invited us to do anything that we could to move him from his place. The men in our class outnumbered the women by about two to one, and there had always been a friendly competition between the sexes. On that day, however, there was no such division. Together, we all sat close to our instructor, silent and motionless. We watched as he simply walked to the center of the mat, sat down with his legs crossed, closed his eyes, held out his arms, and changed his breathing pattern. I remember that I was fascinated and observed closely as his chest swelled and shrank, slower and slower with each breath until it was hard to tell that he was breathing at all. With a nod of agreement, we moved closer and tried to move our instructor from his place. At first, we thought that this was going to be an easy exercise, and only a few of us tried. As we grabbed his arms and legs, we pushed and pulled in different directions with absolutely no success. Amazed, we changed our strategy and gathered on one side of him to use our combined weight to force him in the opposite direction. Still, we couldn’t even budge his arms or the fingers on his hands! After a few moments, he took a deep breath, opened his eyes, and with the gentle humor we’d come to respect, he asked, “What happened? How come I’m still sitting here?” After a big laugh that eased the tension and with a familiar gleam in his eyes, he explained what had just happened. “When I closed my eyes,” he said, “I had a vision that was like a dream, and that dream became my reality. I pictured two mountains, one on either side of my body, and myself on the ground between the peaks.” As he spoke, I immediately saw the image in my mind’s eye and felt that he was somehow imbuing us with a direct experience of his vision. “Attached to each of my arms,” he continued, “I saw a chain that bound me to the top of each mountain. As long as the chains were there, I was connected to the mountains in a way that nothing could change.” Our instructor looked around at the faces that were riveted on each word he was sharing. With a big grin, he concluded, “Not even a classroom full of my best students could change my dream.” Through a brief demonstration in a martial-arts classroom, this beautiful man had just given each of us a direct sense of the power to redefine our relationship to the world. The lesson was less about reacting to what the world was showing us and more about creating our own rules for what we choose to experience. The secret here is that our instructor was experiencing himself from the perspective that he was already fixed in one place on that mat. In those moments, he was living from the outcome of his meditation. Until he chose to break the chains in his imagination, nothing could move him. And that’s precisely what we found out.
Gregg Braden (The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief)
If you want the reader to feel intimately related to your subject, try a close-up shot. Describe the character, object or scene as if it were positioned directly in front of your eyes, close enough to touch. Let the reader see the hand-etched signature on the bottom of the wooden bowl or the white strip on the divorcée’s finger where a wedding ring once lay. Let him smell the heaviness of the milking barn after a night of rain, hear the squeak of the farmer’s rubber boots. If you want to get even closer, take the reader inside a character’s body and let him experience her world—the reeling nausea of Lydia’s first morning sickness, the tenderness of her breasts, the metallic taste in her mouth—from the inside out. Then, when you need to establish distance, to remove the reader from the scene as Shirley Jackson did in “The Lottery,” pull back. Describe your object from a great distance. The wooden bowl is no longer a hand-crafted, hand-signed original, or if it is, you can’t tell from where you’re standing. The pregnant woman is no longer Lydia-of-the-tender-breasts; she’s one of dozens of other faceless women seated in the waiting room of the county clinic. As you vary the physical distance between your describer and the subjects being described, you may find that your personal connection with your subjects is altered. Physical closeness often presages emotional closeness. Consider how it is possible that kind and loving men (like my father, who served in three wars) are capable of dropping bombs on “enemy” villages. One factor is their physical distance from their targets. The scene changes dramatically when they face a villager eye to eye; no longer is the enemy a tiny dot darting beneath the shadow of their planes, or a blip on the radar screen. No, this “enemy” has black hair flecked with auburn and a scar over her left eyebrow; she’s younger than the wives they left behind. If
Rebecca McClanahan (Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively)
BILL MURRAY, Cast Member: Gilda got married and went away. None of us saw her anymore. There was one good thing: Laraine had a party one night, a great party at her house. And I ended up being the disk jockey. She just had forty-fives, and not that many, so you really had to work the music end of it. There was a collection of like the funniest people in the world at this party. Somehow Sam Kinison sticks in my brain. The whole Monty Python group was there, most of us from the show, a lot of other funny people, and Gilda. Gilda showed up and she’d already had cancer and gone into remission and then had it again, I guess. Anyway she was slim. We hadn’t seen her in a long time. And she started doing, “I’ve got to go,” and she was just going to leave, and I was like, “Going to leave?” It felt like she was going to really leave forever. So we started carrying her around, in a way that we could only do with her. We carried her up and down the stairs, around the house, repeatedly, for a long time, until I was exhausted. Then Danny did it for a while. Then I did it again. We just kept carrying her; we did it in teams. We kept carrying her around, but like upside down, every which way—over your shoulder and under your arm, carrying her like luggage. And that went on for more than an hour—maybe an hour and a half—just carrying her around and saying, “She’s leaving! This could be it! Now come on, this could be the last time we see her. Gilda’s leaving, and remember that she was very sick—hello?” We worked all aspects of it, but it started with just, “She’s leaving, I don’t know if you’ve said good-bye to her.” And we said good-bye to the same people ten, twenty times, you know. And because these people were really funny, every person we’d drag her up to would just do like five minutes on her, with Gilda upside down in this sort of tortured position, which she absolutely loved. She was laughing so hard we could have lost her right then and there. It was just one of the best parties I’ve ever been to in my life. I’ll always remember it. It was the last time I saw her.
James Andrew Miller (Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live)
I said to myself, This is going to be quick. I also thought: I’ll take the epidural now! Because the contractions were starting to demonstrate what the pain of birth is all about. The obstetrician came in. I smiled, ready for my shot. “I don’t know how to tell you this,” she said. “Your platelets are really, really low.” “Okay,” I said. I knew what platelets were-blood cells whose job it is to stop bleeding-but I had no idea why that was significant. “So, my epidural?” “You can’t have any medications.” “Come again?” “No drugs, no medications,” she said. “No epidural. I’ve called around to different anesthesiologists, and no one will touch you.” “No epidural?” “Nothing.” There are girls from third-world countries who do it with no drugs, I reminded myself. My mother elected for natural childbirth. How bad can it be? I got this. It started to hurt. I thought to myself, I am not going to cuss. Hell no! I am about to be a mother. I am bringing our baby into a positive environment and must be a good role model. Wow! The contractions built up quickly. My pristine vision of perfect, calm, quiet childbirth disappeared. A banshee snuck into the room and took over my body. Arrrgggh!!! No cursing! There was a rocking chair in the birth room. I went over and sat in it and began moving back and forth. Chris put on a CD by Enya that we’d brought to listen to: peaceful, pleasant music. I took a deep breath. Jeez, Louise! That one was a monster! Then, a breather. I’m doing goooooood! Breathe. Breathe… Wow! Then I said some other things. The banshee had a mind of her own. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” I apologized to the nurses as I recovered from the surge of the contraction. “It’s okay,” said Chris. The pain surged again. Dang! Jiminy! And other things. Chris would watch the monitor. Suddenly he’d turn to look at me. “What?” I asked. “That was a strong one.” “Uh-huh.” The funny thing is, the stronger the contractions were on the monitor, the less they seemed to hurt. Maybe when things are really bad you focus more on being tough. Or perhaps my brain’s pain mechanism simply went on strike when the agony got too much.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
Pastor Joel Osteen Oprah: I heard a sermon that you preached on the power of “I am.” And that sermon literally changed how I spoke power into my own life. I was shooting The Butler. I had heard that sermon. I was exhausted. We’d been shooting and shooting and shooting. And your voice came into my head—that whatever follows “I am” will determine what your experience will be. And so I literally thought, I’m going to try that because I’m exhausted. And I started saying, “I am getting my second wind. I am going to feel so much better by midnight, I’m going to want to shoot all night.” And I’m telling you, I started to feel differently. And I couldn’t believe that it happened so quickly. Pastor Joel Osteen: It’s an incredible principle, I don’t think we realize that what follows “I am,” we’re inviting into our life. You know, you say, “I am tired,” “I am frustrated,” “I am lonely,” you’ve invited that in. So the principle is to turn it around and invite what you want into your life. Oprah: So whatever follows “I am” will eventually find you. Joel: Yeah. I think a lot of times you’re going to say how you feel. I am lonely. I am tired. There’s a balance to it. I don’t think you’re denying the facts. Otherwise, I’m just hiding my head in the sand. It’s not so much that, it’s just not magnifying the negative. I talk about “I am the masterpiece,” “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” “I am strong,” “I am talented.” That is speaking more to the core of what God put in each one of us. He has equipped us, he has empowered us. We have what we need to fulfill our destiny. But I do think that we have to bring it out. And you can’t bring it out being against yourself. And I think that is what keeps us from our destiny. Oprah: So we’ve heard that phrase, “Speaking truth to power.” It feels like when you understand that whatever follows “I am” is going to eventually find you, that if you start speaking all the positive aspects of yourself—“I am secure,” “I am valuable,” “I am approved,” “I am determined,” “I am generous”—when you start allowing what you want to be your truth, you begin to speak truth, the truth of “I am” to the power of what can be.
Oprah Winfrey (The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations)
I do not want to marry you, Benjamin.” “You’ve been crying.” He brushed the pad of his thumb over her cheek, her skin silky soft to his touch. “We don’t need to set a date if you’re not ready to.” “You aren’t listening to me.” She wrapped her fingers around his wrist and removed his hand from her face. “I cannot marry you, and this is all moving too quickly. I don’t want to shame my family—that’s the last thing I want, but I don’t want…” She raised troubled eyes to his. “I don’t want to make a laughingstock of you when I jilt you.” “Portmaines are not strangers to broken engage-ments.” “Port…?” He saw when she recollected his family name. “Were we to marry, you’d become Maggie Portmaine.” “But we’re not going to marry.” She was appallingly convinced of this, and it irritated him more—worried him more—each time she emphasized her position. “You said things were moving too quickly, Maggie, but if you’ve conceived, they can’t move quickly enough.” Her gaze became haunted, and her hand went to her belly. “You listen to me,” he said, dropping his voice and covering her hand with his own. “Just for today, we are engaged. We need make no other decisions than that. You can jilt me, and I’ll step aside, or we can marry, or we can remain engaged for a time and make further decisions later.” She was listening; she was even watching his mouth as he spoke. He kissed her on the lips for no other reason than he didn’t want her arguing with him. “I want you for my countess, Maggie. I’d made up my mind before we found ourselves in this contretemps, but I wanted to woo you, to squire you about and give you the attention and courting you deserve. Give me a few weeks. We’ll know better what we’re dealing with, and we’ll placate the Lady Dandridges of Society in the meanwhile.” “I can do that,” she said slowly, “but, Benjamin, that’s all I can do. You must not take a notion that we will be wed.” “And if there’s a baby?” She shook her head, but when he took her in his arms, she went unresisting into his embrace. He hoped there was a baby, which surprised him. He understood the necessity for an heir but hadn’t felt any urgency as long as Archer enjoyed good health.
Grace Burrowes (Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal (The Duke's Daughters, #2; Windham, #5))
So,” Marlboro Man began over dinner one night. “How many kids do you want to have?” I almost choked on my medium-rare T-bone, the one he’d grilled for me so expertly with his own two hands. “Oh my word,” I replied, swallowing hard. I didn’t feel so hungry anymore. “I don’t know…how many kids do you want to have?” “Oh, I don’t know,” he said with a mischievous grin. “Six or so. Maybe seven.” I felt downright nauseated. Maybe it was a defense mechanism, my body preparing me for the dreaded morning sickness that, I didn’t know at the time, awaited me. Six or seven kids? Righty-oh, Marlboro Man. Righty…no. “Ha-ha ha-ha ha. Ha.” I laughed, tossing my long hair over my shoulder and acting like he’d made a big joke. “Yeah, right! Ha-ha. Six kids…can you imagine?” Ha-ha. Ha. Ha.” The laughter was part humor, part nervousness, part terror. We’d never had a serious discussion about children before. “Why?” He looked a little more serious this time. “How many kids do you think we should have?” I smeared my mashed potatoes around on my plate and felt my ovaries leap inside my body. This was not a positive development. Stop that! I ordered, silently. Settle down! Go back to sleep! I blinked and took a swig of the wine Marlboro Man had bought me earlier in the day. “Let’s see…,” I answered, drumming my fingernails on the table. “How ’bout one? Or maybe…one and a half?” I sucked in my stomach--another defensive move in an attempt to deny what I didn’t realize at the time was an inevitable, and jiggly, future. “One?” he replied. “Aw, that’s not nearly enough of a work crew for me. I’ll need a lot more help than that!” Then he chuckled, standing up to clear our plates as I sat there in a daze, having no idea whether or not he was kidding. It was the strangest conversation I’d ever had. I felt like the roller coaster had just pulled away from the gate, and the entire amusement park was pitch-black. I had no idea what was in front of me; I was entering a foreign land. My ovaries, on the other hand, were doing backflips, as if they’d been wandering, parched, in a barren wasteland and finally, miraculously, happened upon a roaring waterfall. And that waterfall was about six feet tall, with gray hair and bulging biceps. They never knew they could experience such hope.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Marlboro Man paused, his eyes piercing through to my marrow. We’d started out watching the sunset over the ranch, sitting on the tailgate of his pickup, legs dangling playfully over the edge. By the time the sun had gone down, we were lying down, legs overlapping, as the sky turned blacker and blacker. And making out wildly. Making out, oh, so very wildly. I didn’t want to wait for him to bring it up again--the dreaded subject of Chicago. I’d avoided it like the plague for the past several days, not wanting to face the reality of my impending move, of walking away from my new love so soon after we’d found each other. But now the subject wasn’t so scary; it was safe. I’d made the decision, at least for now, to stay--I just had to tell Marlboro Man. And finally, in between kisses, the words bubbled suddenly and boldly to the surface; I could no longer contain them. But before I had a chance to say them, Marlboro Man opened his mouth and began to speak. “Oh no,” he said, a pained expression on his face. “Don’t tell me--you’re leaving tomorrow.” He ran his fingers through my hair and touched his forehead to mine. I smiled, giggling inside at the secret I was seconds away from spilling. A herd of cows mooed in the distance. Serenading us. “Um…no,” I said, finding it hard to believe what I was about to tell him. “I’m not…I’m…I’m not going.” He paused, then pulled his face away from mine, allowing just enough distance between us for him to pull focus. “What?” he asked, is strong fingers still grasping my hair. A tentative smile appeared on his face. I breathed in a deep dose of night air, trying to calm my schoolgirl nervousness. “I, umm…” I began. “I decided to stick around here a little while.” There. I’d said it. This was all officially real. Without a moment of hesitation, Marlboro Man wrapped his ample arms around my waist. Then, in what seemed to be less than a second, he hoisted me from my horizontal position on the bed of his pickup until we were both standing in front of each other. Scooping me off my feet, he raised me up to his height so his icy blue eyes were level with mine. “Wait…are you serious?” he asked, taking my face in his hands. Squaring it in front of his. Looking me in the eye. “You’re not going?” “Nope,” I answered. “Whoa,” he said, smiling and moving in for a long, impassioned kiss on the back of his Ford F250. “I can’t believe it,” he continued, squeezing me tightly.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
The first signal of the change in her behavior was Prince Andrew’s stag night when the Princess of Wales and Sarah Ferguson dressed as policewomen in a vain attempt to gatecrash his party. Instead they drank champagne and orange juice at Annabel’s night club before returning to Buckingham Palace where they stopped Andrew’s car at the entrance as he returned home. Technically the impersonation of police officers is a criminal offence, a point not neglected by several censorious Members of Parliament. For a time this boisterous mood reigned supreme within the royal family. When the Duke and Duchess hosted a party at Windsor Castle as a thank you for everyone who had helped organize their wedding, it was Fergie who encouraged everyone to jump, fully clothed, into the swimming pool. There were numerous noisy dinner parties and a disco in the Waterloo Room at Windsor Castle at Christmas. Fergie even encouraged Diana to join her in an impromptu version of the can-can. This was but a rehearsal for their first public performance when the girls, accompanied by their husbands, flew to Klosters for a week-long skiing holiday. On the first day they lined up in front of the cameras for the traditional photo-call. For sheer absurdity this annual spectacle takes some beating as ninety assorted photographers laden with ladders and equipment scramble through the snow for positions. Diana and Sarah took this silliness at face value, staging a cabaret on ice as they indulged in a mock conflict, pushing and shoving each other until Prince Charles announced censoriously: “Come on, come on!” Until then Diana’s skittish sense of humour had only been seen in flashes, invariably clouded by a mask of blushes and wan silences. So it was a surprised group of photographers who chanced across the Princess in a Klosters café that same afternoon. She pointed to the outsize medal on her jacket, joking: “I have awarded it to myself for services to my country because no-one else will.” It was an aside which spoke volumes about her underlying self-doubt. The mood of frivolity continued with pillow fights in their chalet at Wolfgang although it would be wrong to characterize the mood on that holiday as a glorified schoolgirls’ outing. As one royal guest commented: “It was good fun within reason. You have to mind your p’s and q’s when royalty, particularly Prince Charles, is present. It is quite formal and can be rather a strain.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
The emphasis was on “soft.” No matter what else happened, the wranglers were to stay soft while riding the horses. Soft hands, soft seat, and soft legs. There was to be absolutely no hitting, kicking, slapping, or yelling at any time for any reason. The penalty for doing such things was to be placed on a two-day suspension. A second offense would lead to termination. Neither penalty was ever needed. At times it wasn’t easy to stay quiet with the horses because so many of them had been “used up” over the years, dulled to any form of cue. However, we remained consistent in our focus and the horses responded. The wranglers were instructed to ride the horses with the softest cues possible, often using nothing more than a light squeeze to get forward movement and a shift of weight in the saddle, along with light pressure on the reins, for a stop. They were also instructed to look for, find, and then release their cues at the slightest try from the horse—something they all became very adept at doing. With everyone riding in the same manner from one day to the next, all the horses began to respond within a few weeks. Before we knew it, all of our horses, including the very old ones that had been in the program for years and years, became responsive to the lightest of cues. We’d taught our horses to be responsive to these light cues, but a question remained. How could we keep them that way, particularly with the hundreds of different people who would be riding each horse over the summer? The answer was simple. Everyone needed to remain consistent. So, instead of expecting our horses to respond to the conflicting cues that each new rider was bound to give, we taught each rider how to communicate with our horses. Each week when a new batch of guests arrived at the ranch, we held an orientation in the riding arena. During this orientation, we explained how our horses were trained and what was expected of them as a rider of one of our horses. We gave them a demonstration in the saddle of proper seat and hand position, so they could keep their balance. We showed them the cues for walk, stop, trot, lope, and turn, using a horse right out of the string. Once we had demonstrated how our horses worked, we got everyone on horseback in the arena and helped them to practice giving the cues, allowing the horse to respond, and releasing the cues so that the horse would remain responsive. Of note is the fact that after
Mark Rashid (Horses Never Lie: The Heart of Passive Leadership)
I breathed in a deep dose of night air, trying to calm my schoolgirl nervousness. “I, umm…” I began. “I decided to stick around here a little while.” There. I’d said it. This was all officially real. Without a moment of hesitation, Marlboro Man wrapped his ample arms around my waist. Then, in what seemed to be less than a second, he hoisted me from my horizontal position on the bed of his pickup until we were both standing in front of each other. Scooping me off my feet, he raised me up to his height so his icy blue eyes were level with mine. “Wait…are you serious?” he asked, taking my face in his hands. Squaring it in front of his. Looking me in the eye. “You’re not going?” “Nope,” I answered. “Whoa,” he said, smiling and moving in for a long, impassioned kiss on the back of his Ford F250. “I can’t believe it,” he continued, squeezing me tightly. Our knees buckled under the heat, and before I knew it we were back where we’d been before, rolling around and kissing manically in the bed of his diesel pickup. Occasionally my arm would hit a crowbar and my head would slam against a spare tire or a cattle prod or a jack; I didn’t care, of course. I’d said what I wanted to say that night. Everything else--even minor head injuries--was a piece of cake. We stayed there a long, long time, the balmy night air giving us no good reason to leave. Under the innumerable stars, amidst all the embraces and kisses and sounds from the surrounding livestock, I suddenly felt more at peace in my decision than I had since my phone call with Rhonda the Realtor that morning. I felt at home, comfortable, nestled in, wonderful. My life had changed that day, changed in a way I never, ever, could have predicted. My big-city plans--plans many months in the making--had all at once been smashed to smithereens by a six-foot cowboy with manure on his boots. A cowboy I’d known, essentially, for less than three weeks. It was the craziest thing I’d ever done, deciding to take an impulsive walk down this new and unexpected path. And while I secretly wondered how long it would take for me to regret my decision, I rested easily, at least for that night, in the knowledge that I’d had the courage to step out on such an enormous limb. It was late. Time to go. “Want me to drive you home now?” Marlboro Man asked, lacing our fingers together, kissing the back of my hand. “Or, do you…” He paused, considering his words. “Do you want to come stay at my place?
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
The wedding rehearsal itself was uneventful until Father Johnson decided it was time to show Marlboro Man and me the proper way to walk to the marriage altar. Evidently, all of Father Johnson’s theological studies and work was destined to culminate in whether or not Marlboro Man and I approached the altar in the perfectly correct and proper way, because he was intent on driving the point home. “At this point,” Father Johnson instructed, “you’ll start to turn and Ree will take your arm.” He lightly pushed Marlboro Man in the proper direction, and the two of us began walking forward. “Nope, nope, nope,” Father Johnson said authoritatively. “Come back, come back.” Marlboro Man’s college friends snickered. “Oh…what did we do wrong?” I asked Father Johnson humbly. Maybe he’d discovered the truth about the collages. He showed us again. Marlboro Man was to turn and begin walking, then wait for me briefly. Then, as I took his arm, he was to lead me to the altar. Wait. Wasn’t that what we just did? We tried again, and Father Johnson corrected us…again. “Nope, nope, nope,” he said, pulling us both by the arm until we were back in our starting position. Marlboro Man’s friends chuckled. My stomach growled. And Marlboro Man kept quietly restrained, despite the fact that he was being repeatedly corrected by his fiancée’s interim minister for something that arguably wasn’t all that relevant to the commitment we were making to spend the rest of our lives together. We went through no fewer than seven more takes, and with each redo I began to realize that this was Father Johnson’s final test for us. Forget the collage assignment--that was small potatoes. Whether we could keep our cool and take instruction when a nice steak dinner and drinks awaited us at the country club was Father Johnson’s real decider of whether or not Marlboro Man and I were mature, composed, and levelheaded enough to proceed with the wedding. And while I knew Marlboro Man would grit his teeth and bear it, I wasn’t entirely sure I could. But I didn’t have to. On the beginning of the eighth run, just after Father Johnson gave us another “Nope. You’re not getting it right, kids…” Mike’s loud voice echoed throughout the wood-and-marble sanctuary. “Oh, c-c-c-c-come on, Father Johnson!” The chuckles turned into laughter. And out of the corner of my eye I saw Tony giving Mike a subtle high five. Thank goodness for Mike. He was hungry. He wanted to get on to the party.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
My cold-weather gear left a lot to be desired: black maternity leggings under boot-cut maternity jeans, and a couple of Marlboro Man’s white T-shirts under an extra-large ASU sweatshirt. I was so happy to have something warm to wear that I didn’t even care that I was wearing the letters of my Pac-10 rival. Add Marlboro Man’s old lumberjack cap and mud boots that were four sizes too big and I was on my way to being a complete beauty queen. I seriously didn’t know how Marlboro Man would be able to keep his hands off of me. If I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection of the feed truck, I’d shiver violently. But really, when it came right down to it, I didn’t care. No matter what I looked like, it just didn’t feel right sending Marlboro Man into the cold, lonely world day after day. Even though I was new at marriage, I still sensed that somehow--whether because of biology or societal conditioning or religious mandate or the position of the moon--it was I who was to be the cushion between Marlboro Man and the cruel, hard world. That it was I who’d needed to dust off his shoulders every day. And though he didn’t say it, I could tell that he felt better when I was bouncing along, chubby and carrying his child, in his feed truck next to him. Occasionally I’d hop out of the pickup and open gates. Other times he’d hop out and open them. Sometimes I’d drive while he threw hay off the back of the vehicles. Sometimes I’d get stuck and he’d say shit. Sometimes we’d just sit in silence, shivering as the vehicle doors opened and closed. Other times we’d engage in serious conversation or stop and make out in the snow. All the while, our gestating baby rested in the warmth of my body, blissfully unaware of all the work that awaited him on this ranch where his dad had grown up. As I accompanied Marlboro Man on those long, frigid mornings of work, I wondered if our child would ever know the fun of sledding on a golf course hill…or any hill, for that matter. I’d lived on the ranch for five months and didn’t remember ever hearing about anyone sledding…or playing golf…or participating in any recreational activities at all. I was just beginning to wrap my mind around the way daily life unfolded here: wake up early, get your work done, eat, relax, and go to bed. Repeat daily. There wasn’t a calendar of events or dinner dates with friends in town or really much room for recreation--because that just meant double the work when you got back to work. It was hard for me not to wonder when any of these people ever went out and had a good time, or built a snowman. Or slept past 5:00 A.M.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Where the bloody hell is my wife?” Godric yelled into the aether. As if in response, a footman came up the stairs and handed Cedric a slip of paper. Dumbfounded, Cedric opened it and read it aloud. My Dear Gentlemen, We await you in the dining room. Please do not join us until you have decided upon a course of action regarding the threat to Lord Sheridan. We will be more than delighted to offer our opinions on the matter, but in truth, we suspect you do not wish to hear our thoughts. It is a failing of the male species, and we shan’t hold it against you. In the future, however, it would be advisable not to lock us in a room. We simply cannot resist a challenge, something you should have learned by now. Intelligent women are not to be trifled with. Fondest Regards, ~ The Society of Rebellious Ladies ~ “Fondest regards?” Lucien scoffed. A puzzled Jonathan added, “Society of Rebellious Ladies?” “Lord help us!” Ashton groaned as he ran a hand through his hair. “They’ve named themselves.” “I’ll wager a hundred pounds that Emily’s behind this. Having a laugh at our expense,” Charles said in all seriousness. “Let’s go and see how rebellious they are when we’re done with them.” Cedric rolled up the sleeves of his white lawn shirt as he and the others stalked down the stairs to the dining room. They found it empty. The footman reappeared and Cedric wondered if perhaps the man had never left. At the servant’s polite cough he handed Cedric a second note. “Another damn note? What are they playing at?” He practically tore the paper in half while opening it. Again he read it aloud. Did you honestly believe we’d display our cunning in so simple a fashion? Surely you underestimated us. It is quite unfair of you to assume we could not baffle you for at least a few minutes. Perhaps you should look for us in the place where we ought to have been and not the place you put us. Best Wishes, ~ The Society of Rebellious Ladies ~ “I am going to kill her,” Cedric said. It didn’t seem to matter which of the three rebellious ladies he meant. The League of Rogues headed back to the drawing room. Cedric flung the door open. Emily was sitting before the fire, an embroidery frame raised as she pricked the cloth with a fine pointed needle. Audrey was perusing one of her many fashion magazines, eyes fixed on the illustrated plates, oblivious to any disruption. Horatia had positioned herself on the window seat near a candle, so she could read her novel. Even at this distance Lucien could see the title, Lady Eustace and the Merry Marquess, the novel he’d purchased for her last Christmas. For some reason, the idea she would mock him with his own gift was damned funny. He had the sudden urge to laugh, especially when he saw a soft blush work its way up through her. He’d picked that particular book just to shock her, knowing it was quite explicit in parts since he’d read it himself the previous year. “Ahem,” Cedric cleared his throat. Three sets of feminine eyes fixed on him, each reflecting only mild curiosity. Emily smiled. "Oh there you are." -His Wicked Seduction
Lauren Smith
I’m not spending the whole weekend with you two sniping at each other,” Tommy said. “Erin, we’re going to solve this the way we settle things at the stable when your grandmother isn’t looking.” He nodded at Hunter. “Hit him.” “Don’t make her do that,” Hunter told Tommy. “She’ll break her hand.” “Ha! You think awfully well of your chiseled chin,” I said, but Tommy drowned me out, yelling, “Let her hit you or I will hit you myself.” “This is excellent parenting.” Hunter emphasized his words with an okay sign of his thick fingers. His Rolex flashed in the sunlight before he put his hand down. “Here, Erin.” He closed his eyes and lifted his chin. I edged toward him, balling my fist, feeling better already. “Open your eyes,” I said. “I want you to see it coming.” “If I open my eyes, I’ll dodge you,” he said matter-of-factly, as if he was used to settling his differences this way with the other stable hands. He closed his eyes again. I struck while I had the opportunity. Didn’t pause to think about technique or the proper position for my fist, thumb in or thumb out, just hauled back and hit him. But in the split second before my hand connected with his face, I saw a flash of one of my family’s apartments in Los Angeles, an early one, because I glimpsed the ocean through the window across the room, and as the years went on we’d had less and less money and we’d move farther and farther from the sea. I saw my dad hitting my mom. I redirected my fist, only grazing Hunter’s chin, and stumbled into the side of the truck. A strong arm hooked in mine and kept me from falling. Hunter drew me to him, chuckling. “Are you okay?” I shoved him away from me, slid back into the truck, and slammed the door. He wasn’t even sorry and I couldn’t even get revenge. There was no good in this. With a final sniffle I opened my history book, wishing I hadn’t come.
Jennifer Echols (Love Story)
Now that we’d improved our competitive position, we went on the offensive. In my weekly staff meeting, I inserted an agenda item titled “What Are We Not Doing?” Ordinarily in a staff meeting, you spend lots of time reviewing, evaluating, and improving all of the things that you do: build products, sell products, support customers, hire employees, and the like. Sometimes, however, the things you’re not doing are the things you should actually be focused on.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
In a relationship, commitment is a choice we make every single day, over and over again. We choose it even when we are tired and overworked and stressed out. We choose it no matter what attractive person crosses our path. We also choose it every time our partner makes a bid for attention and we put down our book, or look away from the television, or up from our smartphone, or stop whatever it is we’re occupied with to acknowledge their importance in our life. This acknowledgement may call for just a smile or for a conversation, but whatever it calls for, we authentically try to deliver. When we make our relationship a priority by showing that it’s a priority, we build trust and demonstrate our loyalty far beyond any words we say in our wedding vows. What the Love Lab found is that it is the small, positive things done often that make the most difference and build that cocoon of trust and safety in our relationships.
John M. Gottman
The wedding project failed because we were dealing with people accustomed to marriage and then we went right ahead and got married.” “We should have decided not to get married at the last second,” Camille offered. “Right, something that would surprise them, create a disorienting effect that we could harness. There was so much wasted potential.” “And there weren’t enough people to create the kind of event that we’re talking about in a little wedding chapel.” “Malls are perfect. Aside from college campuses and sporting events, where do you find this many people? And a mall has the most diverse makeup. You have a bunch of people, hypnotized by all this material consumption, stuck inside a big maze of a building that throws off their equilibrium.” “This could be good,” Camille said. “We need the Super 8 camera though,” Caleb said. He then pointed to the photo on the table. “We have to capture not just the initial moment but the resulting fallout and the three-hundred-and-sixty-degree effect of the event.” “But who’s to say that she’ll do it again?” Camille posited. She paused for a few moments, considering the ramifications of what they were discussing, and then said, “And who’s to say that we should make her do it again?” “What?” “Caleb, we placed our child in a situation that turned her into an earthquake.
Kevin Wilson (The Family Fang)
If Democrats were just unusually good at discovering the truth, that would explain why Democrats converge on one set of logically unrelated beliefs, but it wouldn’t explain why Republicans (or non-Democrats in general) converge on the opposite beliefs. We’d instead expect that Republicans would tend to have randomly distributed and disparate beliefs about most of these topics. We’d expect Democrats’ beliefs to be positively correlated with one another, but Republicans’ beliefs would have few or no positive correlations. We’d expect Democrats’ beliefs to form a cluster, but not Republicans’ beliefs. I suppose the Democrat objector might respond it’s not just that Democrats are unusually good at discovering the truth, but that Republicans are unusually inclined to form false beliefs. (Some of my academic colleagues, who are unrepentant hooligans, will laugh here and say, yes, that’s precisely it.) It’s possible that this is true. But the evidence speaks against it. If we knew that one party had high-information voters while the other had low-information ones, that fact would tend to support the hypothetical Democrat’s argument. Yet while the average Republican is slightly better informed than the average Democrat, the differences in knowledge are not staggering.
Jason Brennan (Against Democracy)
Have you ever considered that the wedding that carries such positive memories for you may have had a very different meaning for your stepson or daughter? On your wedding day, he watched his father marry someone other than his mother, officially ending the family he once knew.
Sharilee Swaity (16 Gifts From a Stepmom)
I jumped then. It seemed I heard a child laugh. My imagination, of course. And then, when I should have known better, I headed for the closet and the high and narrow door at the very back end and the steep and narrow dark stairs. A million times I’d ascended these stairs. A million times in the dark, without a candle, or a flashlight. Up into the dark, eerie, gigantic attic, and only when I was there did I feel around for the place where Chris and I had hidden our candles and matches. Still there. Time did stand still in this place. We’d had several candle holders, all of pewter with small handles to grasp. Holders we’d found in an old trunk along with boxes and boxes of short, stubby, clumsily made candles. We’d always presumed them to be homemade candles, for they had smelled so rank and old when they burned. My breath caught! Oh! It was the same! The paper flowers still dangled down, mobiles to sway in the drafts, and the giant flowers were still on the walls. Only all the colors had faded to indistinct gray—ghost flowers. The sparkling gem centers we’d glued on had loosened, and now only a few daisies had sequins, or gleaming stones, for centers. Carrie’s purple worm was there only now he too was a nothing color. Cory’s epileptic snail didn’t appear a bright, lopsided beach ball now, it was more a tepid, half-rotten squashy orange. The BEWARE signs Chris and I had painted in red were still on the walls, and the swings still dangled down from the attic rafters. Over near the record player was the barre Chris had fashioned, then nailed to the wall so I could practice my ballet positions. Even my outgrown costumes hung limply from nails, dozens of them with matching leotards and worn out pointe shoes, all faded and dusty, rotten smelling. As in an unhappy dream I was committed to, I drifted aimlessly toward the distant schoolroom, with the candelight flickering. Ghosts were unsettled, memories and specters followed me as things began to wake up, yawn and whisper. No, I told myself, it was only the floating panels of my long chiffon wings . . . that was all. The spotted rocking-horse loomed up, scary and threatening, and my hand rose to my throat as I held back a scream. The rusty red wagon seemed to move by unseen hands pushing it, so my eyes took flight to the blackboard where I’d printed my enigmatic farewell message to those who came in the future. How was I to know it would be me? We lived in the attic, Christopher, Cory, Carrie and me— Now there are only three. Behind the small desk that had been Cory’s I scrunched down, and tried to fit my legs under. I wanted to put myself into a deep reverie that would call up Cory’s spirit that would tell me where he lay.
V.C. Andrews (Petals on the Wind (Dollanganger, #2))
Take the initiative with deliberate steps to be a polite person: 1. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. 2. Reciprocate a thoughtful word or a good deed in kind. 3. Say "excuse me" when you bump into someone, unintentionally violate someone’s space, or need to get someone’s attention. 4. Apologize when you’ve made a mistake or are in the wrong. 5. Live by the "Golden Rule" and treat others the way you would like to be treated. 6. When dining at home or in a restaurant, wait until everyone is served before eating your meal. 7. Acknowledge notable events like birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries. 8. Reply to invitations, regardless of whether you will be able to attend. 9. Acknowledge and show gratitude for gifts and gestures of hospitality. 10. Put things back where they belong. Leave the world a better place than how you found it.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Action: 8 Ways to Initiate & Activate Forward Momentum for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #4))
What is appropriate in one setting may be entirely inappropriate in another. How you behave at a football game is different than how you behave at your sister’s wedding. How you interact with your closest friends will be different than how you engage with your boss.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Action: 8 Ways to Initiate & Activate Forward Momentum for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #4))
Take the initiative with deliberate steps to be a polite person: 1. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. 2. Reciprocate a thoughtful word or a good deed in kind. 3. Say "excuse me" when you bump into someone, unintentionally violate someone’s space, or need to get someone’s attention. 4. Apologize when you’ve made a mistake or are in the wrong. 5. Live by the "Golden Rule" and treat others the way you would like to be treated. 6. When dining at home or in a restaurant, wait until everyone is served before eating your meal. 7. Acknowledge notable events like birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Action: 8 Ways to Initiate & Activate Forward Momentum for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #4))
Imaiqah snorted. “Half of them are taking part because it’s a way to pretend they’re close to Alassa. Half are only there because their parents forced them to go. Half will only cooperate if they’re placed in prominent positions; the other half then starts objecting because they’re not in the front row.” “That’s four halves,” Emily pointed out.
Christopher G. Nuttall (Wedding Hells (Schooled in Magic, #8))
PART1: To say Sean felt stressed was a huge understatement. Give him a cliff to scale or a bar brawl to break up. Hell, give him a freight train to try to outrun, anything but having to pull off being the best man for his brother Finn’s wedding—including but not limited to keeping said brother from losing his collective shit. It’s not like Sean didn’t understand. Getting married was a big deal. Okay, so he didn’t fully understand, not really, but he wanted to. He really did. And how funny was that? Sean O’Riley, younger brother, hook-up king extraordinaire, was suddenly tired of the game and found himself aching for his own forever after. “We almost there?” Finn asked him from the backseat of the vehicle Sean was driving. “Yep.” “And you double checked on our reservations?” “Yep.” “No, I’m serious, man,” Finn said. “Remember when you took me to Vegas and when we got there, every hotel was booked and we had to stay at the Magic-O motel?” “Man, a guy screws up one time . . .” “We had a stripper pole in our rooms, Sean.” Sean sighed. “Okay, but to be fair, that was back when I was still in my stupid phase. I promise you that we have reservations—no stripper poles. I even double and triple checked, just like you asked me a hundred and one times. Pru, I hope you realize you’re marrying a nag.” Pru, Finn’s fiancée, laughed from the shotgun position. “Hey, one of us has to be the nag in this relationship, and it isn’t me.” Sean held up a palm and Pru leaned over the console to give him a high-five. “Just so you know,” Sean said to Finn, “I didn’t pick this place, your woman did.” “True story,” Pru said. “The B&B’s closed to the public this entire weekend. Sean booked the whole place for our bachelor/bachelorette party weekend extravaganza.” “I superheroed this thing,” Sean said. Finn snorted and let loose of a small smile because they both knew that for most of Sean’s childhood, that’s what he’d aspired to be, a superhero—sans tights though. Tights had never been Sean’s thing, especially after suffering through them for two seasons in high school football before he’d mercifully cracked his clavicle.
Jill Shalvis (Holiday Wishes (Heartbreaker Bay, #4.5))
If one has a choice then it's always best to take the positive option.
Lissa Evans (Wed Wabbit)
For instance, why, in 2016, are academics still writing about the misrepresentation in the media of young black men, particularly those associated with crimes? There are numerous studies every year that conclude that young, black males, when they appear in the media, face exaggerated negative associations, limited positive associations, and a distortion of problems as well as missing stories and histories. When we see young, black men in the media, we tend to see their mug shots. the black men don't appear as people, but as images without a history. In deep contrast, serial rapist and murderer Paul Bernardo was depicted in the media at his wedding; Luka Magnotta, the psychopath who dismembered his lover and sent parts of him to various government officials, was frequently shown in photos taken for a fashion magazine. And the kid who shot up a bunch of people gathered at a church, Dylan Roof. He was shown only as some freak of nature neo-Nazi white guy by his mug shot. The white men committing crimes are the freaks. We hear their stories, we hear about their lives. The black men are the stereotype, and we don't hear about their stories.
Anita Arvast (What Killed Jane Creba: Rap, Race, and the Invention of a Gang War)
How do you build peaks? You create a positive moment with elements of elevation, insight, pride, and/ or connection. We’ll explore those final three elements later, but for now, let’s focus on elevation. To elevate a moment, do three things: First, boost sensory appeal. Second, raise the stakes. Third, break the script. (Breaking the script means to violate expectations about an experience—the next chapter is devoted to the concept.) Moments of elevation need not have all three elements but most have at least two. Boosting sensory appeal is about “turning up the volume” on reality. Things look better or taste better or sound better or feel better than they usually do. Weddings have flowers and food and music and dancing. (And they need not be superexpensive—see the footnote for more.IV) The Popsicle Hotline offers sweet treats delivered on silver trays by white-gloved waiters. The Trial of Human Nature is conducted in a real courtroom. It’s amazing how many times people actually wear different clothes to peak events: graduation robes and wedding dresses and home-team colors. At Hillsdale High, the lawyers wore suits and the witnesses came in costume. A peak means something special is happening; it should look different. To raise the stakes is to add an element of productive pressure: a competition, a game, a performance, a deadline, a public commitment. Consider the pregame jitters at a basketball game, or the sweaty-hands thrill of taking the stage at Signing Day, or the pressure of the oral defense at Hillsdale High’s Senior Exhibition. Remember how the teacher Susan Bedford said that, in designing the Trial, she and Greg Jouriles were deliberately trying to “up the ante” for their students. They made their students conduct the Trial in front of a jury that included the principal and varsity quarterback. That’s pressure. One simple diagnostic to gauge whether you’ve transcended the ordinary is if people feel the need to pull out their cameras. If they take pictures, it must be a special occasion. (Not counting the selfie addict, who thinks his face is a special occasion.) Our instinct to capture a moment says: I want to remember this. That’s a moment of elevation.
Chip Heath (The Power of Moments: Why Certain Moments Have Extraordinary Impact)
Dear Mom and Dad How are you? If you are reading this it means your back from the wonderful cruise my brothers and I sent you on for your anniversary. We’re sure you both had a wonderful time. We want you to know that, while you were away, we did almost everything you asked. All but one thing, that is. We killed the lawn. We killed it dead. You asked us not to and we killed it. We killed it with extreme prejudice and no regard for its planty life. We killed the lawn. Now we know what you’re thinking: “But sons, whom we love ever so much, how can this be so? We expressly asked you to care for the lawn? The exactly opposite of what you are now conveying to us in an open digital forum.” True enough. We cannot dispute this. However, we have killed the lawn. We have killed it good. We threw a party and it was quite a good time. We had a moon bounce and beer and games and pirate costumes, oh it was a good time. Were it anyone else’s party that probably would have been enough but, hey, you know us. So we got a foam machine. A frothy, wet, quite fun yet evidently deadly, foam machine. Now this dastardly devise didn’t kill the lawn per se. We hypothesize it was more that it made the lawn very wet and that dancing in said area for a great many hours over the course of several days did the deed. Our jubilant frolicking simply beat the poor grass into submission. We collected every beer cap, bottle, and can. There is not a single cigarette butt or cigar to be found. The house is still standing, the dog is still barking, Grandma is still grandmaing but the lawn is no longer lawning. Now we’re sure, as you return from your wonderful vacation, that you’re quite upset but lets put this in perspective. For one thing whose idea was it for you to leave us alone in the first place? Not your best parenting decision right there. We’re little better than baboons. The mere fact that we haven’t killed each other in years past is, at best, luck. Secondly, let us not forget, you raised us to be this way. Always pushing out limits, making sure we thought creatively. This is really as much your fault as it is ours, if not more so. If anything we should be very disappointed in you. Finally lets not forget your cruise was our present to you. We paid for it. If you look at how much that cost and subtract the cost of reseeding the lawn you still came out ahead so, really, what position are you in to complain? So let’s review; we love you, you enjoyed a week on a cruise because of us, the lawn is dead, and it’s partially your fault. Glad that’s all out in the open. Can you have dinner ready for us by 6 tonight? We’d like macaroni and cheese. Love always Peter, James & Carmine
Peter F. DiSilvio
The truth of the matter is, though, that while we may hunger for meaning and impact, and while that hunger may be absolutely genuine, unless we think consciously about how to make it happen, unless we approach building a life of meaning and impact like a job, we remain far more likely to look back with regret upon all we wished we’d done. The better option is to put ourselves in a position to call the shots and stomp out those regrets before they have a chance to multiply.
Jordan Kassalow & Jennifer Krause
By digging past the initial lack of emotion to something that affects them emotionally (being a combination of stressed and excited about an upcoming wedding) you connect.  Then you can move the conversation in a more positive direction by shifting their focus with lighthearted jokes.
Charlie Houpert (Captivate: Conversational Secrets To Be Instantly Likeable, Make Unforgettable Impressions, And Never Run Out Of Things To Say)
The sacred time will define the sacred event.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
two entertainers got together to create a 90-minute television special. They had no experience writing for the medium and quickly ran out of material, so they shifted their concept to a half-hour weekly show. When they submitted their script, most of the network executives didn’t like it or didn’t get it. One of the actors involved in the program described it as a “glorious mess.” After filming the pilot, it was time for an audience test. The one hundred viewers who were assembled in Los Angeles to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the show dismissed it as a dismal failure. One put it bluntly: “He’s just a loser, who’d want to watch this guy?” After about six hundred additional people were shown the pilot in four different cities, the summary report concluded: “No segment of the audience was eager to watch the show again.” The performance was rated weak. The pilot episode squeaked onto the airwaves, and as expected, it wasn’t a hit. Between that and the negative audience tests, the show should have been toast. But one executive campaigned to have four more episodes made. They didn’t go live until nearly a year after the pilot, and again, they failed to gain a devoted following. With the clock winding down, the network ordered half a season as replacement for a canceled show, but by then one of the writers was ready to walk away: he didn’t have any more ideas. It’s a good thing he changed his mind. Over the next decade, the show dominated the Nielsen ratings and brought in over $1 billion in revenues. It became the most popular TV series in America, and TV Guide named it the greatest program of all time. If you’ve ever complained about a close talker, accused a partygoer of double-dipping a chip, uttered the disclaimer “Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” or rejected someone by saying “No soup for you,” you’re using phrases coined on the show. Why did network executives have so little faith in Seinfeld? When we bemoan the lack of originality in the world, we blame it on the absence of creativity. If only people could generate more novel ideas, we’d all be better off. But in reality, the biggest barrier to originality is not idea generation—it’s idea selection. In one analysis, when over two hundred people dreamed up more than a thousand ideas for new ventures and products, 87 percent were completely unique. Our companies, communities, and countries don’t necessarily suffer from a shortage of novel ideas. They’re constrained by a shortage of people who excel at choosing the right novel ideas. The Segway was a false positive: it was forecast as a hit but turned out to be a miss. Seinfeld was a false negative: it was expected to fail but ultimately flourished.
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World)
The Bible promises trials for followers of Christ, so we’re wise to prepare for battle now. A soldier doesn’t begin his training after he’s called into battle; he’s been sacrificing and preparing for months and years before his boots hit the battlefield. So, how do we put on our armor for a spiritual battle? By studying and memorizing God’s Word. It forms a protective shield over our souls, warding off enemy attacks. Many times this past year, I’ve had to cling to the Bible. From sad incidences like pit bulls killing our favorite family dog; to therapies not quite working to allow my youngest son to eat solid foods; to my oldest heading to Iraq again; to dangerous stalkers disrupting our lives; to parents’ health issues; to getting canned from one job and not knowing what was next; to a daughter’s long-awaited happy wedding that didn’t happen; to biopsy results positive for cancer; to all the messed-up political and national security issues I cover in my work; to . . . well, a whole lot more. It’s been a heck of a year, and I couldn’t get through it without God’s promises for a brighter day. SWEET FREEDOM IN Action Memorizing Scripture is a tool to get us through to the other side. Write verses on Post-It Notes and stick them on mirrors, the fridge, the TV. Commit to memorizing new Scripture every month so that when trials come your way, you’ll be locked and loaded and ready for spiritual battle!
Sarah Palin (Sweet Freedom: A Devotional)
I seriously don’t give a crap how I get the pants; just that I get ‘em before my next class. A wet crotch is not the way to show Brittany I’m a stud. I wait at the tree while other kids throw away their lunches and head back inside. Before I know it, music starts playing through the loudspeakers and Paco is nowhere in sight. Great. Now I have five minutes to get to Peterson’s class. Gritting my teeth, I walk to chemistry with my books strategically placed in front of my crotch, with two minutes to spare. I slide onto the stool and push it as close to the lab table as possible, hiding the stain. Brittany walks into the room, her sunshine hair falling down the front of her chest, ending in perfect little curls that bounce when she walks. Instead of that perfection turning me on, it makes me want to mess it all up. I wink at her when she glances at me. She huffs and pulls her stool as far away from me as possible. Remembering Mrs. Peterson’s zero-tolerance rule, I pull my bandana off and place it in my lap directly over the stain. Then I turn to the pom-pom chick sitting next to me. “You’re gonna have to talk to me at some point.” “So your girlfriend can have a reason to beat me up? No thanks, Alex. I’d rather keep my face the way it is.” “I don’t have a girlfriend. You want to interview for the position?” I scan her from top to bottom, focusing on the parts she relies on so heavily. She curls her pink-frosted top lip and sneers at me. “Not on your life.” “Mujer, you wouldn’t know what to do with all this testosterone if you had it in your hands.” That’s it, Alex. Tease her into wanting you. She’ll take the bait. She turns away from me. “You’re disgusting.” “What if I said we’d make a great couple?” “I’d say you were an idiot.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
You’re gonna have to talk to me at some point.” “So your girlfriend can have a reason to beat me up? No thanks, Alex. I’d rather keep my face the way it is.” “I don’t have a girlfriend. You want to interview for the position?” I scan her from top to bottom, focusing on the parts she relies on so heavily. She curls her pink-frosted top lip and sneers at me. “Not on your life.” “Mujer, you wouldn’t know what to do with all this testosterone if you had it in your hands.” That’s it, Alex. Tease her into wanting you. She’ll take the bait. She turns away from me. “You’re disgusting.” “What if I said we’d make a great couple?” “I’d say you were an idiot.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
...but the problem was more fundamental. Powell and the State Department hoped an agreement with North Korea would be a positive step reducing the threat of nuclear war. Bush, Cheney, and the Vulcans, wedded to a view of the world as a Manichean contest between good and evil, rejected the idea of negotiating with a state they deemed immoral. If the United States had brought the evil empire of the Soviet Union to its knees, why deal with a state vastly smaller, weaker, and more repressive? Bush's response to Kim Dae-Jung's visit set the tone for the administration. The United States would not enter into an agreement that kept a brutal regime in power. For Bush, foreign policy was an exercise in morality. That appealed to his religious fervor, and greatly simplified dealing with the world beyond America's borders. 'I've got a visceral reaction to this guy...Maybe it's my religion, but I feel passionate about this.' Bush's personalization of foreign policy and his refusal to deal with North Korea was the first of a multitude of errors that came to haunt his presidency. Instead of bringing a denuclearized North Korea peacefully into the family of nations, as seemed within reach in 2001, the Bush administration isolated the government in Pyongyang hoping for its collapse. In the years following, North Korea continued to be an intractable problem for the administration. By the end of Bush's presidency, North Korea had tested a nuclear device and was believed to have tripled its stock of plutonium, accumulating enough for at least six nuclear weapons. Aside from their attachment to the idea of American hegemony, the worldview of Bush, Cheney, and the Vulcans was predicated on a false reading of history. A keystone belief was that Ronald Reagan's harsh rhetoric and policy of firmness had forced the collapse of the Soviet Union and ended the Cold War. In actuality, Ronald Reagan's harsh rhetoric during his first three years in office actually intensified the Cold War and heightened Soviet resistance. Not until Reagan changed course, replaced Alexander Haig with George Schultz, and held out an olive branch to the Soviets did the Cold War begin to thaw. Beginning with the Geneva summit in 1985, Reagan would meet with Gorbachev five times in the next three years, including a precedent-shattering visit to the Kremlin and Red Square. What about the 'evil empire' the president was asked. 'I was talking about another time, another era,' said Reagan. President Reagan deserves full credit for ending the Cold War. But it ended because of his willingness to negotiate with Gorbachev and establish a relationship of mutual trust. For Bush, Cheney, and the Vulcans, this was a lesson they had not learned. (p.188-189)
Jean Edward Smith (Bush)
Perhaps I should marry you to put a better light on things, as the Duke of Burnrath did with his bride. Lord knows I don’t need any further attention from the human world.” Men had only proposed to her to better their positions in life in one way or another. Coming from him, this sort of offer was all the more repugnant. She’d thought him nobler than that. Still, the suggestion made her heart flutter irrationally. She shook her head, avoiding his gaze. “That is hardly necessary. For one thing, it is too late. My reputation was blackened the moment my trunks were carried into this house. I never intended to remarry anyway. For another, it seems a silly inconvenience for you in the light of my as-yet-undecided fate.” For a moment he appeared upset by her refusal, but it must have been a trick of light, for he began to laugh. “After all you have put me through, now you are concerned with inconveniencing me?” His laughter stung. Cassandra fixed him with an icy glare. “You inconvenienced yourself when you brought me here against my will.” “Indeed, I did.” His expression sobered and he once more stepped closer, leaning in until his breath brushed across her lips. “Though perhaps you should take care not to exacerbate matters. Or else I may be tempted to wed you just for the legal right to take you over my knee.” With
Brooklyn Ann (Bite at First Sight (Scandals with Bite, #3))
By this time we'd also cleared up several more cases of osteomyelitis by reversing the battery and making the silver electrode positive for a day. It looked safe. There was no crossover of effects: When negative,the wire didn't make infectious bacteria grow, and when positive, it didn't destroy bone-forming cells or prevent them from growing when we switched the current to negative.
Robert O. Becker (The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life)
As we are preparing to land the captain asks that you return your tray tables to the upright position, unfasten your seat belts, and jump out of the helicopter. We’d like to thank you for flying with the U.S. Navy, and hope you will choose to travel with us again in the future.” “The far fucking future,” added Harford. “Amen,” said Ivanov. As
John Birmingham (Weapons of Choice (Axis of Time, #1))
Did you ever think maybe you’d just stay, ride it out, see what happened? Was that an option for you?” He didn’t ask defensively, though it took a bit to keep the edge from his voice. He was all but grilling her so he couldn’t go and get upset if he didn’t like the answers he got. But he was human, and this wasn’t any easier on him than it was on her. “It might have been.” “If?” He heard her take a steadying breath and felt himself bracing for her response. “If I’d felt about you the way I felt about the rest of your family. Like you were a brother or something.” “But?” “Looking for a little ego stroke?” She swatted at him then, tried for a playful laugh, but the serious undertone remained. “But I had feelings for you. Well, lust and feelings. We had a friendship, then I had lust. And I really didn’t think, even if you were interested in me, that was something you’d pursue, given your position as employer and me being temporary. So…I don’t know…” “But when you came back here to Maine you didn’t head out again.” “I didn’t go back to Australia either,” she reminded him. When he didn’t say anything for some time, she said, “What are you thinking? I’ve been pretty frank so go ahead, be honest with me.” “Okay,” he said. “I guess I can’t help but think that you didn’t head back out on the road, you didn’t come back to Australia either--but you also didn’t write, keep in touch. And not because you were out in the jungle somewhere, unable to drop a postcard in the mail. You were right here, with all the modern technological conveniences at your fingertips. But you didn’t send a single e-mail. Not even to Sadie. And I can’t help but think that maybe that means we were all a lot more important to you than you wanted to admit or keeping in touch, at least with her, would have been no big deal. You also haven’t even mentioned us to anyone here, as far as I know, other than your uncle. Which, given how long you stayed and how much we’d come to mean to you, seems odd to me, too. So…maybe the only way you thought you could get over us was to put us firmly in your rearview mirror. Only then…you never started looking ahead again either.” She said nothing, and a quick glance showed she was staring out the side window of the car, her hands in her lap, fingers twisting and untwisting. “Or maybe we really were easily left in the past, and the change in you is more because you got home and your entire family was living here, all together, for the first time in your adult life,” he said, giving her an out. “And it makes you want to stay, even though you don’t know what, precisely, you want to do here yourself.” He paused, then said the rest of what he was thinking, what he was feeling. “And maybe you stay because it’s the closest thing you can have to what you had started building with us, and remain safe while having it.
Donna Kauffman (Starfish Moon (Brides of Blueberry Cove, #3))
Your belly’s getting big,” he said one night. “I know,” I answered, looking down. It was kind of hard to deny. “I love it,” he said, stroking it with the palm of his hand. I recoiled a little, remembering the black bikini I’d worn on our honeymoon and how comparatively concave my belly looked then, and hoping Marlboro Man had long since put the image out of his mind. “Hey, what are we naming this thing?” he asked, even as the “thing” fluttered and kicked in my womb. “Oh, man…” I sighed. “I have no idea. Zachary?” I pulled it out of my wazoo. “Eh,” he said, uninspired. “Shane?” Oh no. Here go the old movies. “I went to my senior prom with a Shane,” I answered, remembering dark and mysterious Shane Ballard. “Okay, scratch that,” he said. “How about…how about Ashley?” How far was he going to take this? I remembered a movie we’d watched on our fifteenth date or so. “How about Rooster Cogburn?” He chuckled. I loved it when he chuckled. It meant everything was okay and he wasn’t worried or stressed or preoccupied. It meant we were dating and sitting on his old porch and my parents weren’t divorcing. It meant my belly button wasn’t bulbous and deformed. His chuckles were like a drug to me. I tried to elicit them daily. “What if it’s a girl?” I said. “Oh, it’s a boy,” he said with confidence. “I’m positive.” I didn’t respond. How could I argue with that?
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Daniel belayed back down as I got into position. His feet hit the ground with a thump, then he looked over at me. “Ready?” “Always.” Nicole did the countdown from the top. I started fast, reaching the halfway mark head and shoulders above him. But that’s when things got tricky, the holds and grips a little farther apart, and he had the advantage. By the three-quarter mark, he’d caught up. “Better kick it up a notch,” he said, as he drew alongside me. “I know you really want those extra holds.” “And I’m sure you really don’t want to make them. But don’t forget the second part. You win, you gotta kiss me. Might be better to stick with the holds.” He laughed and heaved up to the next grip, pulling away now. I grabbed another and found toeholds first, shooting a couple inches above him, the advantage lost a second later when his longer arms found the next grips as I was still getting leverage. I kept my face forward now, climbing in earnest for the first time since we’d started. A hiss and boo from below told me I was in the lead. Then a grunt from beside me. A sharp intake of breath and I knew he was pulling up. The crowd cheered. I looked up to see Brooke leaning over the side, ropes in hand, urging me on. Only three feet to go. I could see Daniel out of the corner of my eye, his chin level with my nose, just a scant inch advantage, but I knew it was enough and as soon as he grabbed that top ledge and heaved himself up-- A grunt. Daniel wobbled and the grip slid out of his hand. He dropped only a few inches, but by the time he’d recovered, I was pulling myself over the top. Brooke and Nicole were cheering. The others below called up good-natured boos. I took a breather as I hung off the ledge. I could hear Daniel panting beside me, but I didn’t look over. There was no way he’d lost his hold on that grip. He’d let go. Given me the win at the last second as he realized what was coming if he’d won. A kiss he didn’t want.
Kelley Armstrong (The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1))
Recognizing that open relationships work for some doesn't threaten anyone else's relationship; it won't discourage anyone from choosing to be exclusive or from forming pair-bonds. We expect the majority will do just that and that dyadic and exclusive relationships will remain the predominant model. While we'd like to see people in those dyadic and exclusive relationships thinking their decisions through more carefully than they often do, we're not encouraging them to do anything that feels wrong. The simple answer to those who object to nonmonogamy is "Then be monogamous.
Mark A. Michaels (Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships)
Do you remember how our mothers kept telling us that we should be proud of who we were because we’d have to live with that self every single day for the rest of our lives? How we should always be the masters of our thoughts, embrace everything, both positive and negative, but never let our judgement be clouded, still learn from our mistakes and experiences?
Victoria Moschou (Guardian of the Auras (The Auras' Chest, #1))
Tomorrows needn’t be bad. Maybe they hold the brightest of our days – the compensation for what we had never had.
Merlin Franco (A Dowryless Wedding)
had forced him to buy Exeltec from me for another exorbitant sum, so I came away from this in a good enough position. The CDC failed to find evidence that Panos had released any kind of pathogen, and eventually determined that the note on Panos’s computer had been an idle threat, meant to send I3 into a panic. Earlier that morning, Dion had sent me a thank-you note from him and his mother for stopping the government from burning the body. I hadn’t yet told them I’d stolen this thumb drive. It contained the key, and a . . . second file. A small text document, also encrypted. We’d stared at it for a time before realizing that the key had been printed on the outside of the thumb drive itself. Chapter nineteen
Brandon Sanderson (Skin Deep (Legion, #2))
So. Cake. Chocolate raspberry?" "The cupcakes," Agnes said, concentrating on the important stuff, since the gunfire seemed to have stopped. "I know that's your favorite, Maria, but the cake has to be strong enough to support the fondant, and that one's pretty delicate. It'd be wonderful served with raspberry sauce at the rehearsal dinner, though. The raspberry sauce is in the silver bowl. The heart-shaped cakes are Italian cream cake and the round ones are pound cake, which is the only kind I'm positive will hold up the fondant. The square ones are a coconut pound cake that I'm trying out.
Jennifer Crusie (Agnes and the Hitman)
Light the incense and cleanse your crystals with the smoke before entering the circle.” Tripp held the cords and the paper while I held the incense to the flame. Once lit, I returned the incense to the cauldron. After holding our crystals over the incense smoke, Morgan instructed, “Enter the circle and place the cauldron to one side. You’ll notice that two stones opposite each other on the circle are out of place. Each of you, take a stone and put it in place to close the circle.” Once we’d done that, “Now sit cross-legged in the center of the circle knees to knees, one of you facing north, the other south.” I chose the north-facing position, and Tripp sat with his knees pressed lightly against mine. Next, we were to read the words on the paper out loud to each other. Tripp went first. “On this night, beneath this Snow moon, in the presence of those who love us, I commit to you. I promise to always respect you for who and what you are and to never again reflect past hurts onto you. I love you with all that I am.” After I’d repeated the words to him, Morgan instructed us to secure a length of cord around each other’s left wrists symbolizing our bond. “Now take the longer cord,” Morgan said of the remaining piece, “and tie the two crystals together as a further sign of your commitment to each other.” Tripp wrapped the crystals. As I tied the cord, I thought of Lily Grace’s “two pink cylinders side by side” vision. That might be her best one yet. “The final step,” Morgan said, a smile brightening her face and happy tears gleaming in her dark eyes, “is to remove a stone together, breaking the circle and releasing your commitment into the world.” We did and as we stepped out of the circle, hands clasped tightly, Briar proclaimed, “So mote it be.
Shawn McGuire (Silent Secrets (Whispering Pines Mystery, Book 7))
Charlie, I want to get married," she said. "Well, so do I, darling -" "No, you don't understand," she said. "I want to get married right now." Froggy knew from the desperate look in her eyes that Red was dead serious. "Sweetheart, are you sure now is a good time?" he said. "I'm positive," Red said. "If the last month has taught me anything, it's how unpredictable life can be - especially when you're friends with the Bailey twins. This could very well be the last chance we'll ever get! Let's do it now, in the Square of Time, before another magical being can tear us apart!" The idea made Froggy's heart fill with joy, but he wasn't convinced it was the right thing to do. "Are you sure this is the wedding you want?" he asked. "I don't mean to be crude, but the whole street is covered in a witch's remains." A large and self-assured smile grew on Red's face. "Charlie, I can't think of a better place to get married than on the ashes of your ex-girlfriend," she said. "Mother Goose, will you do the honors?" Besides being pinned to the ground by a three-ton lion statue, Mother Goose couldn't think of a reason why she couldn't perform the ceremony. "I suppose I'm available," she said. "Wonderful!" Red squealed. "And for all intents and purposes, we'll say the Fairy Council are our witness, Conner is the best man, and Alex is my maid of honor. Don't worry, Alex! This will only take a minute and we'll get right back to helping you!" Red and Froggy joined hands and stood in the middle of Times Square as Mother Goose officiated the impromptu wedding. "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today - against our will - to unexpectedly watch this frog and woman join in questionable matrimony. Do you, Charlie Charming, take Red Riding Hood as your lovably high-maintenance wife?" "I do," Froggy declared. "And do you, Red Riding Hood, take Charlie Charming as your adorably webfooted husband?" "I do," Red said. "Then it is with the power mistrusted in me that I now pronounce you husband and wife! You may kiss the frog!" Red and Froggy shared their first kiss as a married couple, and their friends cheered. "Beautiful ceremony, my dear," Merlin said. "Believe it or not, this isn't the strangest wedding I've been to," Mother Goose said.
Chris Colfer (Worlds Collide (The Land of Stories, #6))
They’re a lot bigger than the last ones,” I say. “Yeah, they must be four weeks old. She must have dropped this litter early. Can you sit with your legs out to hold them?” Without a subterranean den, we had to coral them somehow. Inside the copse, there is barely room to move. I drop down to a sitting position with my legs splayed out, and the pups wiggle en masse against my thigh. Their noses press against my pant leg. They calm down and begin to nuzzle into each other. Dirt streaks their coats, which range from coal to warm gray. Their heads are covered in dense auburn fur, and all of them have now closed their milky-gray eyes. I stare at them in disbelief at the thought that, not so long ago, settlers threw dynamite into wolf puppy dens. Their muzzles appear foreshortened and out of proportion to the long and wide jaws they will grow into one day. Something compels one pup to move closer and closer to me until the little wolf wedges its nose firmly into my groin. The other pups trail behind it, tunneling between each other and pawing their way over one another until all four are piled together between my legs. I try not to think about the fact that suddenly I am a temporary nursemaid to some of the world’s rarest wolves while their mother likely paces a few dozen yards away. Adjusting the puppies is futile, as they seem hardwired to nuzzle their way into the warmest, tightest spot they can find. The brambles, while thick on the outside, form a natural opening in the middle that is just large enough for a wolf to circle around in. The mother had dug a very shallow earthen dish - only a few inches deep - to keep her babies in. “Doesn’t seem like much of a den,” I remark. “I thought we’d find another big hole in the ground.” “It varies,” Ryan says. “Sometimes we find them in these bowl depressions, usually where the woods are thicker and the ground is flatter, like here. But sometimes they’re in holes. When the ground is sloped, they’ll dig back into the slope. That’s the most typical kind of den. But we’ve found them in storm culverts, too. It’s all over the map.” Ryan sets to work pulling out rubber gloves, blood-sample supplies and ID chips. Chris snaps and cracks his way to us. He crawls through the copse and curses at the dense vegetation. Finally, he reaches the inner sanctum, where there is barely enough room to sit Indian style jammed up against Ryan’s legs and mine. Roomy for a wolf, maybe, but cramped for three human adults. “What a sorry little den,” Chris remarks. He glances at the scratched-out dirt bed and porous brush overhead. Rain drips through, wetting our heads. “Is she nearby?” “Somewhere over there.” Ryan gestures behind us. “She’s not going far, though, you can be sure of that. These guys squealed their guts out.
T. DeLene Beeland (The Secret World of Red Wolves: The Fight to Save North America's Other Wolf)
They Just Don’t Do That Anymore He used to wake me, oh so often. He’d had a bad dream, or a cough, or something felt funny inside. I would grumble, or be patient, depending on the night and how tired I was. Back to his room and tuck him in. Rinse and repeat, through many moons. But he doesn’t do that anymore. He used to be our pickiest eater. Though we’d always fed all three the same, he turned up his nose more frequently. I would grumble about this, or be patient, depending on the day and all that had happened up until that point. Trying not to make it worse, we encouraged him to taste new flavors. We also honored his preferences and didn’t force it. Now he gobbles down chili, curry, many of his former not-favorites. He doesn’t do that anymore. They used to argue every day: shout, bite, whine, hit. Clamoring for position and power, each in his or her own way. I would grumble about this, or be patient, depending on the state of my heart and energy level. These days plenty of disagreements occur, but so do apologies, ones I don’t always have to oversee or manage. They don’t do that anymore. The tantrums, oh dear Lord, the tantrums. “Don’t give in and they’ll soon learn that tantrums don’t work.” Ha. I never gave in, but that didn’t stop these daily events that pushed me to my limit and beyond. For years. I would grumble about this, or be patient, depending on how many times we’d been down this road in the past twenty-four hours. At times I found myself sitting through the screaming, my own tears of helplessness running like rivers. Too drained to even wipe them away. Convinced I must be doing everything wrong. But they don’t do that anymore. Some mamas are reading this after multiple times up in the night. Or you’ve stumbled across these words soon after yet another shouting match. Or maybe the dinner you poured weary energy into met with a resounding lack of applause. I don’t want to minimize the stage you’re in. Don’t want to tell you, “Enjoy these days, they go by so fast.” I’m not here to patronize you. Instead let me pour a little encouragement your way: Go ahead and grumble, or be patient. You don’t have to handle all the issues perfectly. Go ahead and cry, and wonder if it’s even worth it. Go ahead and pray, for strength to make it through the next five minutes. Because one day, often when you least expect it, often when you’ve come to peace with the imperfections and decided to be happy anyway, you’ll wake up, look around in amazement and realize: They just don’t do that anymore.
Jamie C. Martin (Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy)
again as leader, so she could practice her skills in that position. Brie and I bumped each other's arms, waiting to hear what Holly would say. We’d already overheard the other girls whispering that they wanted Casey to remain the leader. And their annoyed faces at Casey’s suggestion made their preference clear to everyone, including Holly and Ronnie. They didn’t want Holly as leader, and Holly was well aware of that. “No, thanks, Mrs. Caldwell,” Holly said. “I think Casey should do it.
Katrina Kahler (TWINS : Part Three - Books 7, 8, 9 & 10 : Books for Girls 9-12)
There, on a spindle-legged chair positioned against the far wall under the warm glow of the twin sconces, Lord Rothbury, blindfolded with his own cravat, his hands tied together, secured behind the back of the chair. In vain, she tried to swallow, only it felt as if her throat had been doused with sand. Good Lord! Why on earth was he tied up? His shirt lay open, displaying the tawny skin of his broad chest, his flat nipples, and the sparse golden hairs that brushed the plane of his muscled stomach. Her greedy eyes remained fastened on that sleek, bare stomach, mesmerized by the rise and fall of each breath he took. A voice in the back of her mind told her she should look away. After all, he was sin embodied. But what a sight he was for her starved eyes. His dark blond locks lay in splendid disarray and he gave his head a quick jerk, tossing away the hair that fell across his forehead. He was unsuccessful, the silky strands sliding back into their former position. He blew out his frustration with a low growl.
Olivia Parker (To Wed a Wicked Earl (Devine & Friends, #2))
Rothbury," she whispered. "I need to feel you inside of me again." His eyes fluttered open, then met her gaze. Staring into her eyes, he positioned himself at her opening, then with one hand at her hip, he entered her slowly at first, thinking she must be tender from the day before. She arched against him, silently giving him leave to enter more fully. And he did, then, nearly losing himself in that second. Together they began to move, their rhythm steady and firm. Soon her moans grew desperate and her heels pressed into his buttocks. He increased the pace, pumping into her wildly now, determined to bring them both to utter bliss.
Olivia Parker (To Wed a Wicked Earl (Devine & Friends, #2))
Maybe there’s something out there. Giant eels or whatever.” “Giant eels?” Corey let out a whoop of a laugh, too loud and too long. Desperate to cast off the fear and unease and find his old self again. “Hey, I’m not the moron who was worried about great white sharks,” said Sam. “Um, that was Nic.” “It doesn’t matter what happened,” Daniel said, “only that no one was hurt.” He looked at me, then Nicole. “You’re both okay, right? Well, I mean…I know you’re not okay, but--” “I’m fine,” I said. Nicole nodded. “Me, too.” Hayley straightened, as if not to be outdone. Getting her footing, like me searching for my forest and Corey for a joke. We were all stressed out. We’d deal with it our own way. At least we were dealing with it, not curled up on the beach in fetal positions. Right now, that was the best we could hope for.
Kelley Armstrong (The Calling (Darkness Rising, #2))
I knew we’d be accused of rewarding incompetence, of throwing public money down a rat hole. But I believed we had gotten taxpayers a reasonable deal, not just in the financial terms of the loan, but by avoiding even more severe damage to the economy. I’d soon get some early validation of that when Hank Greenberg, AIG’s hard-driving former chief executive and a major shareholder in the firm, visited me to complain that the Fed had been given too much equity in AIG, too much of the upside. I was a bit shocked by the audacity; basically, he wanted us to give back a big chunk of the company. I told him we hadn’t done the deal to make money, and we’d be happy to sell him back some of the equity if he’d be willing to take some of the risk. But what interested me was Greenberg’s confidence that we’d get a positive return from AIG, rather than the tens of billions in losses that everyone else seemed to expect. He’d be right about that, but only because of the force of the government’s actions to stabilize the company and the broader financial system over the next few years. He and other AIG shareholders would end up suing the federal government, claiming that we had been unjustly harsh to the firm we rescued.
Timothy F. Geithner (Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises)
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. —James 1:26 (KJV) When I was in my twenties, I started going to the opera. An enthusiastic novice, I’d walk joyfully to the lobby for intermission, only to hear the dismissive remarks of the jaded veterans. A fine performance by Pavarotti? “He has no squillo. You really should have heard Corelli in that part.” An incredible high note from Joan Sutherland? “Too bad you couldn’t have heard her twenty years ago.” I’d go back to my seat for the second act, regretting that I wasn’t twenty years older rather than enjoying the singing that night. I’ve tried, with diminishing success as I’ve grown older, to be less of a curmudgeon. But the place I’ve failed utterly has been church. Walking home on Sunday mornings, I’ve recited a litany of complaints. “The music here is terrible. Do you remember the choir at St. So-and-So’s?” “There was no meat in that sermon. Father X was so much more thoughtful.” “Did you see the sneakers the altar server was wearing? We’d never have let that pass at St. Thingummy’s.” Finally, my wife, Julia, had enough. “What are you doing for Lent?” she asked. “Giving up peanut butter, like always,” I answered. “How about giving up all that negativity?” So I tried. Sometimes I’d just keep quiet. Sometimes I’d catch myself mid-complaint. Sometimes I’d even say something positive! And you know what? I found myself praying rather than looking for things I didn’t like. After all, I was there for God’s sake, not my own. You know what else? This Lent I’m going to find something good to say every Sunday. Lord, keep my attention where it really belongs—on You. —Andrew Attaway Digging Deeper: Jl 2:12–13; 1 Pt 5:6
Guideposts (Daily Guideposts 2014)
He looked at me in there like he wanted to scream at me and like he wanted to kiss me and if he could have done both of those things at the same time, we'd still be in there, scream-kissing each other into pieces.
Katherine Locke
Once beyond school age, individuals were all expected to carry out two functions: to contribute to production and to take part in military operations. The whole system was based on the “Four Military Lines.” The key tenets were “arm the entire people,” “fortify the entire nation,” “build a nation of military leaders,” and “complete military modernization.” So various militias were formed. When I grew too old for the Youth League, I had no choice but to join one of these militias. In my case, it was the Laborers’ and Farmers’ Red Army. I enlisted when I graduated from high school and embarked on a period of training. The training was professional enough. We learned how to dig trenches and fight to protect our position. We were well trained as snipers. Groups of individuals who were used to working together were formed into military units. The idea was that, in the event of a crisis, the units could be mobilized very quickly. We had exercises twice a year, at the hottest and the coldest time of year. We’d do things like climb a mountain or dig trenches out of the frozen ground. Right from the start, the one thing I kept asking myself was this: What was with the party’s obsession with militarizing the entire nation?
Masaji Ishikawa (A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea)
I have no idea why one person can be handed a tragic past and become healthy and selfless while another amplifies their pain into the lives of others. Almost without exception the most beautiful, selfless people I’ve met are ones who’ve experienced personal tragedy. They remind me of the trees I occasionally stumble across in the Columbia River Gorge, the ones that got started under boulders and wound slowly around the rock face to find an alternative route to the sun. What’s harder for me to admit, though, is there are also people who’ve become the very rocks that hindered them. And perhaps there is redemption for these people and perhaps there is hope, but this doesn’t change the fact they are not safe. I only say this because a positive evolution happened in my life when I realized healthy relationships happen best between healthy people. I’m not just talking about romance either. I’m talking about friendships, neighbors, and people we agree to do business with. One of the things I admire most about John is his ability to hold compassion in one hand and justice in the other. He offers both liberally and yet they don’t cancel each other out. I remember talking to my friend Ben once about a person who had once lied to me. We’d been working on a project together, and this person lied about some of the finances. Ben is a decade older than me, a cinematographer with a gentle heart, a guy you’d think could easily be taken advantage of. But when I told him about my friend, Ben said, “Don, I’ve learned there are givers and takers in this life. I’ve slowly let the takers go and I’ve had it for the better.” He continued, “God bless them, when they learn to play by the rules they are welcomed back, but my heart is worth protecting.
Donald Miller (Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Acquiring a Taste for True Intimacy)
Cross-cultural experience by itself does not ensure cultural intelligence, but when wed with the other capabilities of cultural intelligence, it plays a significant role. In particular, individuals with multiple experiences in a variety of places experience more of the benefits of cross-cultural interactions and travel than those who have been in only one or two places, even if for a long time. At the same time, the more countries where you've lived for more than a year, the more positive connection there is between your cross-cultural experience and cultural intelligence.17
David Livermore (Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The New Secret to Success)
Lost Things" There are many ways to understand the word lost, my love. When you were born, the last Pyrenean ibex, a tawny female named Celia, had not yet lived to see the view from Torla overlooking Monte Perdido, but her great- grandsire stood on the cliffs of Ordesa, positioned on hoof-tips dainty as dimes, and he shook his impregnable skull, a coffer of brass and nobility crowned with bayonets, as though in defiance of all who dwelt in the highlands from Catalonia to Aquataine. Their kind is vanished now. Forever lost. Perdido. And when you dressed in a Girl Guide’s uniform of Persian blue on Tuesday nights, my love, in the long-lost basement of Grace United Church, to play indoor baseball and make believe that faerie magic could make you rich or important or happy, pods of baiji dolphins still swam in a river you’d never heard of and would not think about until years later, when together we would learn from the evening news that the baiji were lost, at last, from the Yangtze, and in their place there came a universal emptiness. There are many ways to understand the word lost, but it does not help to imagine a secret place where lost things go. When last I held you in my arms, my love, the West African black rhinoceros was still magnificent and still alive, but now the gentleness of your breath on my bare neck is as lost as the dusty, confident snort of that once breath-taking beast. Great strength is no protection, and neither is love. We are born, and our births are lost. We can’t go back to them. Each embrace ends with an ending. When we become, what we once thought we’d be is lost. We keep becoming.
Paul Vermeersch (The Reinvention of the Human Hand)
By the following morning, September 15, Jackson had positioned nearly fifty guns on Maryland Heights and at the base of Loudoun Heights.  Then he began a fierce artillery barrage from all sides, followed by a full-out infantry assault.  Realizing the hopelessness of the situation, Col. Miles raised the white flag of surrender, enraging some of the men, one of whom beseeched him, “Colonel, don't surrender us. Don't you hear the signal guns? Our forces are near us. Let us cut our way out and join them." Miles dismissed the suggestion, insisting, “They will blow us out of this place in half an hour." Almost on cue, an exploding artillery shell mortally wounded Miles, and some historians have argued Miles was fragged by Union soldiers. Jackson had lost less than 300 casualties while forcing the surrender of nearly 12,500 Union soldiers at Harpers Ferry, the largest number of Union soldiers to surrender at once during the entire war. For the rest of the day, the Confederates helped themselves to supplies in the garrison, including food, uniforms, and more, as Jackson sent a letter to Lee informing him of the success, "Through God's blessing, Harper's Ferry and its garrison are to be surrendered." Already a legend, Jackson earned the attention of the surrendered Union troops, who tried to catch a glimpse of him only to be surprised at his rather disheveled look. One of the men remarked, "Boys, he isn't much for looks, but if we'd had him we wouldn't have been caught in this trap." Jackson
Charles River Editors (The Stonewall Brigade: The History of the Most Famous Confederate Combat Unit of the Civil War)
In truth I do not want to part ways with you, Maggie Windham, and I’d ask you for a fair hearing.” She turned her head to meet his gaze, though her bearing had become positively imperial with a simple lift of her chin. “I’m listening.” “I have an heir, but he’s a distant cousin who wants nothing to do with titles, votes, or the obligation my sisters represent. He’s a Town man, handy with the ladies, and not given to agricultural matters in the least.” “Is this Archer?” In for a penny, in for a pound. “Yes. I’d like you to meet him.” She shook her head, but he forged on rather than let her start on her protestations. “One reluctant heir is not adequate to secure the succession. I am attracted to you, and I think the attraction is mutual. I am asking you to marry me, Maggie Windham. Cry the banns, reserve St. George’s, your mama weeping in the first row while your brothers glare at me for my audacity…” He could not gauge her reaction. “Her Grace is not my mother, and my brothers would not glare at you, and while I understand the honor you do—” She tipped her head back, eyes closed. He watched while her throat worked and felt her hand clench in his. “Benjamin, I cannot.” He had expected an uphill battle. He had not expected the single, silver tear that slipped from the corner of her closed eye and trickled down her cheek. “Why not?” She shook her head and accepted his handkerchief. “I’m just a by-blow, and being your countess would only ensure I was the subject of constant gossip. Our children would be ostracized; I’d be the subject of much criticism…” “Our children would be the grandchildren of a duke and an earl. When one of the Wilson sisters can marry a titled lord and be accepted anywhere, your argument fails. We’d live in Cumbria, where the only ones to pass judgment would be the sheep climbing the fells. I’d give you as many children as you wanted, and we’d suit, Maggie Windham. We’d suit admirably.” He was an educated, resourceful man, but just a man. Words were not winning the fair maid, and while he’d been prepared to work for her capitulation, he was not ready for her to wall herself off in specious arguments and stubborn silence. He kissed her. He put all of his longing into the kiss, all of his determination to keep her safe and fight her battles for her. When she was sighing into his mouth and her hands were clinging to his biceps, he forced himself to pause, lest he be consummating unspoken vows on the carriage bench. “You must not…” She drew in a slow, deep breath, their mouths an inch apart. “You cannot ravish my reason, Benjamin. I am discharging you, and we will be cordial acquaintances from this day forward.” She dropped her forehead to his, her fingers circling his wrist where his hand cradled her jaw. A tactical retreat might be in order, but he was not going to be easily discouraged. “I will serenade you from the street, Maggie Windham. I will be so callow, you will marry me to save me from embarrassment.” She smiled at his flummery. “Take me riding, and then let us part on a happier note.” He
Grace Burrowes (Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal (The Duke's Daughters, #2; Windham, #5))
I must be honest with you too, Husband.” “I would prefer it.” “I am not in a position to consummate our vows tonight.” He felt surprise and disappointment, and for an instant considered that for all her affection and pragmatism, all her passion on his hearth rug several nights past, Louisa was consigning them to a white marriage. Except… her passion had been honest. Her rejoicing in his coming through the duel unscathed had been honest. The smiles she’d sent him across the hordes of wedding guests in the Moreland ballroom had been blazingly honest. “Why can’t you consummate our vows, Louisa?” Now she withdrew her hands from his leg, his no-longer-throbbing leg. The horses slowed to a walk. “Louisa?” She mashed her face against his throat, and against his skin, her cheek felt unnaturally hot. “…Dratted… Blighted… female… Next week.” Joseph blinked in the darkness. He had been married before. For several long, unhappy years, in fact, but in that odd moment with Louisa tucked close to him in the darkness, those years of marriage enabled him to decipher her meaning and her problem. He gathered her close and kissed her cheek, when what he wanted to do was laugh—at fate, at his worst imaginings, even a little at his wife’s muttered indignation over nature’s timing. “Next week is not so very far away, Louisa Carrington, and I promise to make the wait worth your while.” She lifted her head, a challenge glinting in her green eyes. “And yours too, Sir Joseph. I promise you that.” And then they did laugh—together. ***
Grace Burrowes (Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight (The Duke's Daughters, #3; Windham, #6))
Everything under control out there, Carter?" "You could say that," Carter said from his position behind the hotel. "I just escorted a ninety-year-old woman to her car. She pinched my ass and dropped a quarter into my back pocket as a tip.
Kristin Miller (Four Weddings and a Werewolf (Seattle Wolf Pack, #2))
After that second day home, when she’d walked into the living room with her engagement ring back on, we’d slowly been working on everything. Neither of us mentioned the fact that she put it on, but I’m positive I hadn’t stopped smiling like a lunatic for hours after. We
Molly McAdams (Deceiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #2))
hipster fashion of the moment. And he wore an earring, as if to say, “I have a position, but I’m not a conformist.” The men in the audience were slumped in their seats, legs crossed, arms condescendingly folded over their chests. Laura was taking notes, accompanying every word by nodding her head of thick, curly hair. What was his trick? His face revealed few expressions; from time to time he smiled briefly, the only movement on his tanned face. Still, those smiles lit it up, and this was probably not planned. Or maybe it was, because at regular intervals he would imperceptibly lean toward the audience, and the middle-aged women with Botoxed lips clung to their seats. He talked about a recent trip in a Ford Fiesta. “We’d meet at the bar in the piazza, Giovanni and Gabriele and I, and hold impromptu discussions inspired by Malvasia.” He gave us time to marvel over the fact that he did not have an Audi. “Giovanni Ascolti and Gabriele Galli, the founders of the publishing house Marea,” Laura whispered in my ear. “Oh.” Silence floated through the room when he closed his mouth. The seconds hung suspended between us and him, in midair, as if surprised to be there. But then Vittorio took off his glasses, smiled, said, “Thank you,” and time obeyed that smile and began to flow again. The audience applauded, and the seconds too returned to their place, in the ticking of the clocks. Well
Claudia Serrano (Never Again So Close)
Kate, too, is beginning to paint a picture of herself, not with too many words at the moment, but in her actions. With her charity affiliations she has sought out vulnerable children and wretched addicts, and is encouraging others to take inspiration from the natural world, sports and the arts. She loves theatre, opera and fine art, but she is also a fan of the Harry Potter franchise, went to see Bridesmaids at the cinema, and by all accounts is a demon on the dance floor. She is a lady but she doesn't mind a bit of rough and tumble - always looking immaculate, painting watercolours and making jam, but she is also an outdoorsy country girl who doesn't mind getting her hair wet or her feet dirty while camping or hiking. For her wedding day, she told her hairdresser that she wanted to look like "herself" and when sitting for her portrait she requested that she look like her "natural self, not her formal self". She is proud of and dedicated to her royal position, but she doesn't allow it to totally define her - she wants to remain true to herself, and remain her own person as well, and that is what will emerge more and more over time.
Marcia Moody (Kate: A Biography)
But, Emmie”—Bothwell’s cultured tones drifted through the back doors of the hall—“you know I’ve missed you.” Emmie’s reply was murmured in low, unintelligible tones, causing St. Just to pause. The damned Kissing Vicar was about to strike again, but as a gentleman… As a gentleman, hell… St. Just did not pull the door shut loudly behind him, which would have afforded Bothwell a moment to protect the lady’s privacy. He charged into the hall, boots thumping on the wooden floor, jar of icing at the ready. “Now, Emmie…” Bothwell was kissing her, one of those teasing little kisses to the cheek that somehow wandered down to the corner of her mouth in anticipation of landing next on her lips. “Excuse me, Bothwell, didn’t realize you were about.” “Rosecroft.” Bothwell grinned at him, looking almost pleased to be caught at his flagrant flirting. “I’d heard you were back. My thanks for the use of your stables.” “And my thanks for keeping those juvenile hellions in shape. You need a horse, man, congregational politics be damned.” “Maybe someday.” Bothwell’s smile dimmed a little as his gaze turned to Emmie. “But for today, I’ve a wedding to perform.” And Bothwell had known, probably from experience, Emmie would be bringing her cake over. Absent a special license, the wedding would have to start in the next couple of hours, and St. Just suspected the vicar had been all but lying in wait for Emmie. “Em?” He brought her the icing. “Shall I go offer up a few for my immortal soul, or will we be going shortly?” “I won’t be long,” she said, brows knit as she positioned the second layer atop the little pedestals set on the first. “I just need to put the candied violets around the base when I’ve got the thing assembled, and maybe a few finishing touches.” “She’ll be hours.” The vicar smiled at her so indulgently that St. Just’s fist ached to put a different expression on the man’s face. “Come along, St. Just, and we can at least spend a few minutes in the sunshine.
Grace Burrowes (The Soldier (Duke's Obsession, #2; Windham, #2))
lawyer married a woman who had previously divorced ten husbands. On their wedding night, she told her new husband, "Please be gentle, I'm still a virgin." "What?" said the puzzled groom. "How can that be if you've been married ten times?" "Well, Husband #1 was a sales representative. He kept telling me how great it was going to be. Husband #2 was in software services. He was never really sure how it was supposed to function, but he said he'd look into it and get back to me. Husband #3 was from field services. He said everything checked out diagnostically, but he just couldn't get the system up. Husband #4 was in telemarketing. Even though he knew he had the order, he didn't know when he would be able to deliver. Husband #5 was an engineer. He understood the basic process, but wanted three years to research, implement, and design a new state-of-the-art method. Husband #6 was from finance and administration. He thought he knew how, but he wasn't sure whether it was his job or not. Husband #7 was in marketing. Although he had a nice product, he was never sure how to position it. Husband #8 was a psychologist. All he ever did was talk about it. Husband #9 was a gynecologist. All he did was look at it. Husband #10 was a stamp collector. All he ever did was...God, I miss him! But now that I've married you, I'm really excited!" "Good," said the new husband, "but, why?" "You're a lawyer. This time I know I'm going to get really screwed! ♦◊♦◊♦◊♦
Various (101 Dirty Jokes - sexual and adult's jokes)
Whether it was conservative Evangelicals hinting that the Holy Spirit had a strong position on the proper rate of marginal taxation, or liberal clergymen insisting that loving your neighbor as yourself required supporting higher levels of social spending, two generations of Christian spokesmen steadily undercut the credibility of their religious message by wedding it to the doctrines of the Democratic Party, or the platform of the GOP.
Ross Douthat (Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics)
Just play this out as a thought experiment,” he said. “Imagine if you had genuine, high-quality early-childhood education for every child, and suddenly every black child in America—but also every poor white child or Latino [child], but just stick with every black child in America—is getting a really good education. And they’re graduating from high school at the same rates that whites are, and they are going to college at the same rates that whites are, and they are able to afford college at the same rates because the government has universal programs that say that you’re not going to be barred from school just because of how much money your parents have. “So now they’re all graduating. And let’s also say that the Justice Department and the courts are making sure, as I’ve said in a speech before, that when Jamal sends his résumé in, he’s getting treated the same as when Johnny sends his résumé in. Now, are we going to have suddenly the same number of CEOs, billionaires, etc., as the white community? In ten years? Probably not, maybe not even in twenty years. “But I guarantee you that we would be thriving, we would be succeeding. We wouldn’t have huge numbers of young African American men in jail. We’d have more family formation as college-graduated girls are meeting boys who are their peers, which then in turn means the next generation of kids are growing up that much better. And suddenly you’ve got a whole generation that’s in a position to start using the incredible creativity that we see in music, and sports, and frankly even on the streets, channeled into starting all kinds of businesses. I feel pretty good about our odds in that situation.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
I’d only just learned the term “gallows humor” a few months earlier, from a book we’d been assigned in American Literature about the Civil War. At the time, it wasn’t a type of humor I thought I would ever be in a position to experience. But now, as hearing Chén belt out Roddy Piper’s battle cry from They Live in Chinese struck me as one of the funniest things I’d ever heard in my life, I understood the concept perfectly.
Ernest Cline (Armada)
Throw yourself in headfirst and live positively and love will find you.
Paige Toon (A Christmas Wedding)
See what I mean by ‘magical’? This was the grown- up equivalent to a kid’s Disneyland fantasy. I was definitely enchanted by photos I viewed of Cornwall online, and the Travel Channel's episode I watched on England's southern counties made me even more desperate to land the position before a lucky rival could snatch it up.
Laura Briggs (A Wedding in Cornwall (Cornwall #1))
I don't suppose any of us really knows what we'd do until we're actually in that position ourselves. It's pretty easy to judge from the outside, but not so easy when it's your life.
Sarah Morgan (How to Keep a Secret)
Look at those women over there, Bella. They haven’t ceased staring at me all night. One would think they’d never seen a fictional character come to life before.” “They and everybody else,” Arabella said impatiently. “But not for— Jackie, are you listening to me?” “And that Baron whatever-his-name-is has winked at me six times. Six! Can you imagine? It is positively diverting.” “Jackie, look at me.” Arabella held a cheaply printed broadsheet. “Have you read this? Part III?” “I have. It is a very satisfying finale.” “Satisfying?” “Everybody ends up just as they should,” she forced herself to say. Arabella squeezed her hand. “This is not like you, darling. He hurt you terribly, and I understand that this ending satisfies that hurt. But you cannot like the stone princess’s fate. Do not tell me you have resigned yourself to it.” “I haven’t, of course. She goes willingly, while I—” “Willingly?” Arabella peered at her. “You haven’t read it, have you?” She pressed the page into her palm. Jacqueline cared nothing that at least a dozen pairs of eyes were on her as she uncreased the paper and yet again forced her misery behind the blockade of pride and confidence she had erected. If they must all see her read it to be satisfied she knew the ending— the ending she had written an hour after telling Duke Tarleton that she could not marry him or any other man— then so be it. But as her eyes scanned the words, she did not recognize them. This was not her writing. The king he swore in fury’s rage His daughter would be wed To warlike man through violent force, And chained to mortal bed. The princess wed; her husband learned The secret of the portal. With axe and club he broke it down, Entrapping her as mortal. The Sun Prince knew not this tragic fate; He waited at the feast. ’Midst song and dance he watched for her, Yet found in them no peace. In silv’ry light he stood upon The brook’s clear bank where once With hands entwined they’d spoke of joy, Yet now came still silence. Days passed to weeks, weeks into months. The princess did not come. He called his heartbreak to the stars, Beneath which they had loved. The trees whispered his sorrow’s grief, The Moon in solace shone, But the prince no comfort would he take Now his mortal maid was gone. His beauty waned; the prince grew weak. His golden luster faded. For it was she who’d brought him life; From her his beauty came. O’er song and feast the dark night crept Upon the desolate shore. Then sending forth his final breath, The Sun Prince was no more. Jacqueline blinked, shedding a tear and marring the freshly printed ink. She swiped a finger beneath her lashes. Before her appeared a linen kerchief. The hand that held it was masculine, strong and familiar. She lifted her head. The Earl of Bedwyr knelt before her upon one knee. His hair was tousled, his coat wrinkled, his cravat hastily tied, and his hand extending the linen was unsteady. His dark eyes spoke something she could not readily believe: hope. “Princess.” His voice was rough. “Don’t let me die.” -Jacqueline, Arabella, & Cam
Katharine Ashe (Kisses, She Wrote (The Prince Catchers, #1.5))
Look at those women over there, Bella. They haven’t ceased staring at me all night. One would think they’d never seen a fictional character come to life before.” “They and everybody else,” Arabella said impatiently. “But not for— Jackie, are you listening to me?” “And that Baron whatever-his-name-is has winked at me six times. Six! Can you imagine? It is positively diverting.” “Jackie, look at me.” Arabella held a cheaply printed broadsheet. “Have you read this? Part III?” “I have. It is a very satisfying finale.” “Satisfying?” “Everybody ends up just as they should,” she forced herself to say. Arabella squeezed her hand. “This is not like you, darling. He hurt you terribly, and I understand that this ending satisfies that hurt. But you cannot like the stone princess’s fate. Do not tell me you have resigned yourself to it.” “I haven’t, of course. She goes willingly, while I—” “Willingly?” Arabella peered at her. “You haven’t read it, have you?” She pressed the page into her palm. Jacqueline cared nothing that at least a dozen pairs of eyes were on her as she uncreased the paper and yet again forced her misery behind the blockade of pride and confidence she had erected. If they must all see her read it to be satisfied she knew the ending— the ending she had written an hour after telling Duke Tarleton that she could not marry him or any other man— then so be it. But as her eyes scanned the words, she did not recognize them. This was not her writing. The king he swore in fury’s rage His daughter would be wed To warlike man through violent force, And chained to mortal bed. The princess wed; her husband learned The secret of the portal. With axe and club he broke it down, Entrapping her as mortal. The Sun Prince knew not this tragic fate; He waited at the feast. ’Midst song and dance he watched for her, Yet found in them no peace. In silv’ry light he stood upon The brook’s clear bank where once With hands entwined they’d spoke of joy, Yet now came still silence. Days passed to weeks, weeks into months. The princess did not come. He called his heartbreak to the stars, Beneath which they had loved. The trees whispered his sorrow’s grief, The Moon in solace shone, But the prince no comfort would he take Now his mortal maid was gone. His beauty waned; the prince grew weak. His golden luster faded. For it was she who’d brought him life; From her his beauty came. O’er song and feast the dark night crept Upon the desolate shore. Then sending forth his final breath, The Sun Prince was no more. Jacqueline blinked, shedding a tear and marring the freshly printed ink. She swiped a finger beneath her lashes. Before her appeared a linen kerchief. The hand that held it was masculine, strong and familiar. She lifted her head. The Earl of Bedwyr knelt before her upon one knee. His hair was tousled, his coat wrinkled, his cravat hastily tied, and his hand extending the linen was unsteady. His dark eyes spoke something she could not readily believe: hope. “Princess.” His voice was rough. “Don’t let me die.” -Jacqueline, Arabella, & Cam
Katharine Ashe (Kisses, She Wrote (The Prince Catchers, #1.5))
So, what are some great questions to ask your potential employer? Here’s a list of ten questions we’d recommend you ask every time:   What have other employees done to succeed in this position? What is the average rate of job turnover in this position? The company as a whole? What do you most like - and least like - about working for this company? What is your management style, and how will we communicate with each other on a daily basis if I am hired? What training is provided to employees during and after onboarding? Are there any other resources employees are provided with for ongoing development and success? If I am hired, how will my performance be measured and evaluated over time? What specific factors will be looked at most carefully? How
Steven Fies (Job Interview Tips For Winners: 12 Key Ways To Land The Job)
I choose you,” I said, leaning toward him, and his mouth met mine with such ardor that my senses reeled all over again. He lay down with me on top of him, and it took all my strength of will to pull away. “But we have to be married.” He studied me, concluding that I truly believed in what I said. “Then let’s go get married.” “Now?” I blurted, eyes wide. “Is now a problem?” “The banns need to be published six weeks in advance of the wedding!” “Banns?” He rolled me sideways off him so that we lay facing each other, his voice dubious. “The banns announce our betrothal,” I elaborated, hoping not to dampen his enthusiasm or his readiness to tolerate Hytanican tradition. “They give time for anyone who might have an objection to our union to come forward.” I recognized the problem even as the words left my mouth, but he was first to say it. “And when the entire province objects, what then?” He pushed himself into a sitting position, then took my hands and gently pulled me up beside him. “Alera, how important is this custom to you?” I peered out the window at the stars while I gave the matter serious thought, pondering Narian’s way of life and if I could reconcile myself to it. I wanted to, but part of me was afraid of it--of going against the doctrines I had been raised to follow. I believed strongly in my kingdom’s religion. I also knew I had to uphold the traditions my people valued if they were to believe in me and accept me as their leader. If I were to switch now to Cokyrian custom, their trust would be betrayed. “It’s very important,” I ultimately answered, not looking at him. “Don’t be embarrassed,” he said, cupping my chin to raise my eyes to his. “I wouldn’t deserve you if I didn’t respect your beliefs.” He gave me a light kiss, signifying that things were resolved between us, although the real problem remained. “I don’t know when the people will accept you, but I cannot go behind their backs. It may be a long wait.” Narian’s expression was resigned. “So we wait.” His attitude lifted my spirits, and a splendid idea struck me. “Our priests are sworn to keep confidences--we could be betrothed.” “And betrothal--it doesn’t involve banns or ceremonies or parades in this kingdom?” He was teasing me, assuring me he was fine with my decision. “No.” I laughed. “Just an exchange of rings. I’ll wear mine around my neck.” “I’ll wear mine on my hand where I should. My soldiers will be oblivious.” He smirked, then added, “And it will confirm your countrymen’s suspicions that I am ignorant.” I gazed into his eyes, at the love that shone within them, and laid my head upon his chest, content, for now, to have him hold me.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
He continued to attack the gate. His arm started to ache. The hammer was designed for neither brute nor force. "Are you all right up there?" asked Eleanor. "Want me to go see if I can find a small child to give you a lift?" "Maybe if we swapped positions and you condescended at the gate, we'd get through faster?
Gary Meehan (True Dark)
A young guy is playing golf when a golf ball hits him in the groin and he passes out. His friends take him to the doctor. When he regains consciousness, he asks, “Well, doc, what do you think?” “We’re going to have to put in a support for about a week.” He then takes four tongue depressors, positions them around the man’s penis, and ties the whole bundle together with string. The man is devastated. “But tomorrow is my wedding!” he tells the doctor. “I’m afraid you’re just going to have to cope.” The next night, the man and his new bride are in bed. She takes off her bra and caresses her breasts. “No one has ever seen these before,” she says, seductively. At which point the man drops his pants and says, “Well, mine’s still in the crate!
Barry Dougherty (Friars Club Private Joke File: More Than 2,000 Very Naughty Jokes from the Grand Masters of Comedy)
Isaac dared not move and she did not stir either, both staring up at the canopy above. If he reached over, if he –no, no. It was better to keep a small shield between them, to preserve the little progress they had made in their standoffish, untested relationship, two strangers forced together under impossible circumstances. The last thing he needed was to push her away, to frighten her, to be the brute she’d taken him for. It had been three weeks since they’d been in this very same position and so much had changed and yet so little. A ridiculous, naïve hope drifted into his head before he found sleep: perhaps one day, a long time from now, they would be friends. He would settle for that, if he could have nothing more. Even though he wanted everything.
Sophie Dash (To Wed a Rebel)
Wait for me, Molly. I finally have my pa’s blessing. He’s even helping me find a position in Lockhart. As soon as I’m settled, I’ll come calling, but I can’t court you now. I can’t keep stepping out with you until we’re ready to wed. Will you wait?” With
Regina Jennings (Love in the Balance (Ladies of Caldwell County, #2))
For the most part, our jobs require us to use our skills, engage our minds, and pursue our goals—all things that have been shown to contribute to happiness. Of course, leisure activities can do this too, but because they’re not required of us—because there is no “leisure boss” leaning over our shoulder on Sunday mornings telling us we’d better be at the art museum by 9 A.M. sharp
Shawn Achor (The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work)
Now, Tom had seemed like a decent guy when we watched him during track practice, and seeing that sign on the bulletin board had given us a clue that he had a good heart, too. But it was almost as if he knew we needed more convincing. And by the time we lost him—just a few streets away from our block—we were positive he couldn’t be the same guy who had robbed Speedy Jack’s. In fact, he turned out to be the nicest, most polite, most civic-minded boy I’ve ever seen. Here’s what we saw him do: He spotted a dog wandering into the road and stopped to coax it onto the sidewalk. He helped a little old lady across the street (really!), holding his hand up to stop traffic for her. He hopped off his skateboard and bent down to tie a child’s shoe. The mother (whose arms were full of groceries) looked like she wanted to hug him. He gave directions to a motorist, nodding politely at all her questions. He picked up litter from the sidewalk and threw it into a trash can. He stopped to admire a baby in its carriage. It was while he was cooing over the baby that Sunny gave me a disgusted look. “Are we wasting our time, or what?” she asked. I giggled. “Somehow I find it hard to believe he could swat a fly, much less hold up a store.” When Tom finished with the baby, he straightened up, stepped back onto his skateboard, and zipped around a corner. We let him go. Sunny sighed. “He’ll make some girl a fine husband one day,” she said, with a straight face. Then we cracked up. We were still laughing about it a half hour later, when Jill and Maggie showed up at Sunny’s for our party-planning session. We told them all about “Saint Tom,” as we’d begun to call him.
Ann M. Martin (Dawn and the Halloween Mystery (Baby-Sitters Club Mystery, #17))
I’ve long believed that to effectively manage it is not only a critical competency but a significant predictor of company performance,” he explains. “One of these days, I’d like to create a hedge fund that invests in companies, taking long positions on companies with great it organizations that help the business win, and short the companies where it lets everyone down. I think we’d make a killing. What better way is there to force the next generation of ceos to give a shit about it?
Gene Kim (The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win)
it was always a moon-shot in a microlight that we’d get there tonight. Stay positive. It’ll make as much difference as being negative, but does your soul more good.
Frank Tayell (Unwanted Visitors, Unwelcome Guests (Surviving the Evacuation #16))
Having been through prep with Flavius, Venia, and Octavia numerous times, it should just be an old routine to survive. But I haven’t anticipated the emotional ordeal that awaits me. At some point during the prep, each of them bursts into tears at least twice, and Octavia pretty much keeps up a running whimper throughout the morning. It turns out they really have become attached to me, and the idea of my returning to the arena has undone them. Combine that with the fact that by losing me they’ll be losing their ticket to all kinds of big social events, particularly my wedding, and the whole thing becomes unbearable. The idea of being strong for someone else having never entered their heads, I find myself in the position of having to console them. Since I’m the person going in to be slaughtered, this is somewhat annoying. It’s interesting, though, when I think of what Peeta said about the attendant on the train being unhappy about the victors having to fight again. About people in the Capitol not liking it. I still think all of that will be forgotten once the gong sounds, but it’s something of a revelation that those in the Capitol feel anything at all about us. They certainly don’t have a problem watching children murdered every year. But maybe they know too much about the victors, especially the ones who’ve been celebrities for ages, to forget we’re human beings. It’s more like watching your own friends die. More like the Games are for those of us in the districts. By the time Cinna shows up, I am irritable and exhausted from comforting the prep team, especially because their constant tears are reminding me of the ones undoubtedly being shed at home. Standing there in my thin robe with my stinging skin and heart, I know I can’t bear even one more look of regret. So the moment he walks in the door I snap, “I swear if you cry, I’ll kill you here and now.” Cinna just smiles. “Had a damp morning?” “You could wring me out,” I reply.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
By the time the Copenhagen conference kicked off in December, it seemed that my worst fears were coming to pass. Domestically, we were still waiting for the Senate to schedule a vote on cap-and-trade legislation, and in Europe, the treaty dialogue had hit an early deadlock. We’d sent Hillary and Todd ahead of me to try to drum up support for our proposed interim agreement, and over the phone, they described a chaotic scene, with the Chinese and other BRICS leaders dug in on their position, the Europeans frustrated with both us and the Chinese, the poorer countries clamoring for more financial assistance, Danish and U.N. organizers feeling overwhelmed, and the environmental groups in attendance despairing over what increasingly looked like a dumpster fire. Given the strong odor of imminent failure, not to mention the fact that I was still busy trying to get other critical legislation through Congress before the Christmas recess, Rahm and Axe questioned whether I should even make the trip. Despite my misgivings, I decided that even a slight possibility of corralling other leaders into an international agreement overrode the fallout from a likely failure. To make the trip more palatable, Alyssa Mastromonaco came up with a skinnied-down schedule that had me flying to Copenhagen after a full day in the Oval and spending about ten hours on the ground—just enough time to deliver a speech and conduct a few bilateral meetings with heads of state—before turning around and heading home. Still, it’s fair to say that as I boarded Air Force One for the red-eye across the Atlantic, I was less than enthusiastic. Settling into one of the plane’s fat leather conference-room chairs, I ordered a tumbler of vodka in the hope that it would help me get a few hours’ sleep and watched Marvin fiddle with the controls of the big-screen TV in search of a basketball game. “Has anyone ever considered,” I said, “the amount of carbon dioxide I’m releasing into the atmosphere as a result of these trips to Europe? I’m pretty sure that between the planes, the helicopters, and the motorcades, I’ve got the biggest carbon footprint of any single person on the whole goddamn planet.” “Huh,” Marvin said. “That’s probably right.” He found the game we were looking for, turned up the sound, then added, “You might not want to mention that in your speech tomorrow.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
My pulse thunders in my ears. It feels like my heart’s rattling my ribs loose, it’s pounding so violently inside my chest. If he touches me any further, I won’t be strong enough to resist Ren anymore. I’ll throw myself at him, beg him to give me everything for just a little while. To give me for now until he can have forever with her. Her. God, my blood boils, and a kick of anger surges through my veins. I hate her. I’m wildly jealous of this woman, who I can only assume is entirely, completely worthy of him. And I know, I trust that she is, because I trust Ren. He’s measured and thoughtful. He has his head screwed on straight. He values the right things. She’s probably an understated beauty, because Ren’s too wholesome to need a knockout—he only asks for beauty from within. She’s one of those rescue-shelter volunteers who bakes perfectly circular chocolate chip cookies and makes friends with all the grandmas on the block. She wants three kids—two boys and a girl—and she loves to scrapbook. She also reads those criminally sex-free romances and is the least erotically adventurous woman on the planet— Whoa, there, Francesca. Getting a little nasty, aren’t we? Well, yes. My thoughts have turned uncharitable. That’s my jealousy talking. That’s my covetous envy. A fierce possessiveness for someone I have no right to. An unwarranted, unfair animosity toward a woman I should be happy for. “I want to apologize, Frankie. About last night.” I spin, tugged out of my thoughts. “What?” Ren frowns up at me from his crouched position, petting Pazza. “I don’t remember everything, because that headache was…unearthly painful, and I’d taken one of the pills for it that Amy prescribed me, but I have a vague memory of being very into hand holding.” Heat rushes through me as I bite my lip. God, you’d think we’d made out, the way thinking of it affects me. “You were.” He grimaces. “It was unprofessional of me. I’m sorry.” His face transforms to a wide smile as Pazza licks his face, perching her muddy paws on his knees. “Pazza, down.” My voice is sharp, and she drops immediately, jogging over to me. Ren slowly stands with a look of wariness on his face. “What’s the matter?” “Nothing. Just Pazza. Sh-she’ll ruin your slacks.” I point at the grass and mud staining his knees. He smiles and shrugs. “I don’t care, Frankie. I can do my laundry. I’m a spot-treating wizard, actually.” “Of course, you are.” I can’t get a stain out of my clothes to save my life. Why do all these little things about him add up to something so perfectly right to me? Why does he have to be so wonderful? Why do I have to be so fucked up?
Chloe Liese (Always Only You (Bergman Brothers, #2))
could stand to be a little scared. “No, let’s spook them,” I whispered back. Lake grinned, Carla shook her head. “They’ll turn us in,” Carla said. “They’ll tell the others.” “They won’t,” I whispered and then motioned for them to get close. When they did, I let them in on the plan. “Let’s sneak around the back. Carla, do you have your flashlight.” With it being a clear night, and the moon glowing above, we hadn’t needed the flashlight. Carla had brought it, though.  She pulled it out of her pocket and held it up. “You stand back,” I told her, figuring she’d want this job. “Shine the light toward the back of the tent. Lake, you and I stand close to the tent wall. When Carla shines the light, you pretend to be a bear and roar. And we’ll make shadows.” “Sounds good to me,” Lake said. “Only we have to be quiet from here out,” I whispered. “North can hear everything.” I wasn’t so sure he couldn’t hear us out here now with his supersonic hearing. Maybe he was asleep... The girls followed me as I tiptoed my way around wide toward the back of the tent. Carla positioned herself near the trees, so her light would cast a good glow. Lake and I stood halfway between. Lake stood really close to me. “So we don’t look like two people,” she explained when I started to back away from her. I realized she was right. Standing together, we’d make one big shadow. We stood hip to hip and I counted down with hand signals to Carla. Three. Two. One. Go! Carla lit up the beam, creating a strong enough glow to spread across the back of the tent wall. She even angled from below so the beam went up, making our shadow taller. Lake raised a curled hand like a claw and growled, doing a great bear impression. I raised my own hand on the other side—another claw. The tent erupted with the sounds of grunts, curses, and a few squeals. “Kota!” Gabriel’s voice erupted over the mix of noises. “Bear!” “Bears don’t have flashlights,” Kota said. “Shit,” Gabriel said. “Fuck. Shit. Fuck.” “Enough,” North said. The three of us outside giggled and started making our way back around the tent, when I was tackled, and on the ground in a heap before I even realized what had happened. The smell of leather and cedar wafted over me. I’d recognize the big bulk of muscle anywhere. “It’s just us!” I cried out in an eruption of giggling, struggling for breath with him on top of me. “I knew it was you,” Nathan said, leaning back while still sitting on my hips. “No one else at this campground would dare.” The others had been tackled, too. Silas was on top of Lake. Luke was on top of Carla. “Get off,” Lake said but she was laughing, pushing on Silas, only Silas
C.L. Stone (First Kiss (The Ghost Bird, #10))
When we offer ourselves unqualified compassion, we start to make positive associations with our practice time. We become the kind of person we’d like to hang out with.
Donna Farhi (Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living)
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Darcy was suddenly and absurdly put in the position of arranging his own wedding to a woman who did not like him, who was unsuitable in every possible way, and whom he had, unwittingly, forced into this position.
Lin Mei Wei (Betrothed to Mr Darcy)
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Time and time again Billy Collins takes a mundane situation and spirals it out into something that is by turns humorous and poignant as in his poem "Imperial Garden", one of my favorites in this new collection: It was at the end of dinner, the two of us in a red booth maintaining our silence, when I decided to compose a message for the fortune cookie you were soon to receive. Avoid mulishness when choosing a position on the great board game of life was my mean-spirited contribution to the treasury of Confucian wisdom. But while we waited for the cookies, the slices of oranges, and the inescapable pot of watery tea, I realized that by mulishness I meant your refusal to let me have my own way every time I wanted it. I watched you looking off to the side— your mass of dark hair, your profile softened by lamplight— and then I made up a fortune for myself. He who acts like a jerk on an island of his own creation will have only the horizon for a friend. I seemed to be getting worse at this, I seemed to be getting worse at this, I thought, as the cookies arrived at the table along with the orange slices and a teapot painted with tigers menacingly peering out from the undergrowth. The restaurant was quiet then. The waiter returned to looking out at the street, a zither whimpered in the background, and we turned to our cookies, cracking the brittle shells, then rolling into little balls the tiny scrolls of our destinies before dropping them, unread, into our cups of tea— a little good-luck thing we’d been doing ever since we met.
Billy Collins (Whale Day: And Other Poems)