Weeks Ago Quotes

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If you had started doing anything two weeks ago, by today you would have been two weeks better at it.
John Mayer
I’d mentioned this odd wardrobe choice to Adrian a couple of weeks ago: “Isn’t Dimitri hot?” Adrian’s response hadn’t been entirely unexpected: “Well, yeah, according to most women, at least.
Richelle Mead (The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2))
We met less than a week ago and in that time I've done nothing but lie and cheat and betray you. I know. But if you give me a chance...all I want is to protect you. To be near you. For as long as I'm able.
Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
I don’t like keeping her in the dark,” Jace said. “We’ll tell her in a week. What difference does a week make?” Jace gave him a look. “Two weeks ago you were dead.” “Well, I wasn’t suggesting two weeks,” said Sebastian. “That would be insane.
Cassandra Clare
Once I got home, though, and saw several packages on my front porch, all the crap from the day disappeared. A few had smiley faces on them. Squealing, I grabbed the boxes. Books were inside-- new release books I'd preordered weeks ago.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Obsidian (Lux, #1))
Carter, not to be unkind," I said, "but the last few months you've been seeing messages about Zia everywhere. Two weeks ago, you thought she was sending you a distress call in your mashed potatoes." "It was a Z! Carved right in the potatoes!
Rick Riordan (The Throne of Fire (The Kane Chronicles, #2))
I know some things--I know that I'm not alone, that I have friends, that I'm in love. I know that I don't want to die, and for me that's something--more than I could have said a few weeks ago.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
mankind is resilient: the atrocities that horrified us a week ago become acceptable tomorrow.
Joseph Heller
Jace: 'I don't like keeping her in the dark.' Sebastian: 'We'll tell her in a week. What difference does a week make?' Jace: 'Two weeks ago you were dead.' Sebastian: 'Well, I wasn't suggesting twoweeks. That would be insane.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Rowan’s head was still angled as he asked, “Your mothers were cousins, Prince, but who sired you?” Aedion lounged in his chair. “Does it matter?” “Do you know?” Rowan pressed. Aedion shrugged. “She never told me—or anyone.” “I’m guessing you have some idea?” Aelin asked. Rowan said, “He doesn’t look familiar to you?” “He looks like me.” “Yes, but—” He sighed. “You met his father. A few weeks ago. Gavriel
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
I was quite depressed two weeks ago when I spent an afternoon at Brentano's Bookshop in New York and was looking at the kind of books most people read. Once you see that you lose all hope.
Friedrich A. Hayek
There were three boys in the doorway, backlit by the evening sun as Neeve had been so many weeks ago. Three sets of shoulders: one square, one built, one wiry. “Sorry that I’m late,” said the boy in front, with the square shoulders. The scent of mint rolled in with him, just as it had in the churchyard. “Will it be a problem?” Blue knew that voice. She reached for the railing of the stairs to keep her balance as President Cell Phone stepped into the hallway. Oh no. Not him. All this time she’d been wondering how Gansey might die and it turned out she was going to strangle him.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
I do not think you are in any danger of starving," Maximus said. "The surgeon said only two weeks ago that you are too fat." "The devil!" Berkley said indignantly, sitting up; and Maximus snorted in amusement at having provoked him.
Naomi Novik (His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1))
She was dashing back, an enormous old book in her arms. “I never thought to look in here!” she whispered excitedly. “I got this out of the library weeks ago for a bit of light reading.” “Light?” said Ron.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1))
A few months ago you assassinated a man who called himself a god; now you're going after a goddess in truth. Unless you can figure out a way to kill continents, after this you're going to have to retire.
Brent Weeks (Beyond the Shadows (Night Angel, #3))
Meg! I love you! I want to marry you!" "That's weird," she said without stopping. "Only six weeks ago, you were telling me all about how Lucy broke your heart." "I was wrong. Lucy broke my brain.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Call Me Irresistible (Wynette, Texas, #5))
Darryl likes codes," Skylar explained. "A few weeks ago, I asked him what someone might hypothetically need to break into a supercomputer. He hypothetically made me this.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Every Other Day)
I met this really great guy three weeks ago. He taught me how to dance, reminded me of what it feels like to flirt, walked me home, made me smile, and then YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE, OWEN!
Colleen Hoover (Confess)
A week ago someone warned me not to buy the blueberry muffins at Eddie's, but I didn't listen and bought them anyway. Now at odd hours I get these insatiable cravings." "They're laced with addictive substances.
Kasie West (The Distance Between Us)
About a month ago I got a cactus. A week later, it died. I was really depressed because I was like, 'Damn! I am less nurturing than a desert.
Demetri Martin
I’m not asking you to live for me. Even though that would be nice because I’m in love with you. And yeah, yeah, you can tell me I’m misusing that word, but I don’t care. That’s how I feel. But this isn’t even about me, or how I feel about you. I want you to live for you because I know there’s so much more waiting for you. There’s so much more for you to discover and experience. And you deserve it, you might not think you do, but you do. I’m here to tell you that you deserve it. And I know I sound cheesy as hell. Believe me, six weeks ago, I would’ve slapped myself for saying shit like this, but knowing you... Knowing you has helped me see things differently. See myself differently. And all I want is for you to see yourself the way that I do.
Jasmine Warga (My Heart and Other Black Holes)
The problem with time, I've learned, whether it's those first two weeks I got to spend with you, or the final two months I got to spend with him, eventually time always runs out. I have no idea where you are out there in the world, John. But I understand that I lost the right to know these things long ago. No matter how many years go by, I know one thing to be as true as ever was - I'll see you soon then.
Nicholas Sparks (Dear John)
I count myself lucky, having long ago won a lottery paid to me in seven sunrises a week for life.
Robert Brault
No one is defined by a single act," Frederic said. "Whether it was years ago or weeks ago. We're all given chances to change, to make up for things we've done wrong. It's how we handle those opportunities that really matters.
Christopher Healy (The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle (The League of Princes, #2))
This was a few weeks ago," Annabeth said. "Percy told me a crazy story about meeting a boy our near Moriches Bay. Apparently this kid used hieroglyphs to cast spells. He helped Percy battle a crocodile monsters." "The Sob of Sobek!" Sadie blurted. "But my brother battled that monster. He didn't say anything about-" "Is your brother's name Carter?" Annabeth asked. An angry golden aura flickered around Sadie's head-a halo of hieroglyphs that resembled frowns, fists, and dead stick men. "As of this moment," Sadie growled, "My brother's name is Punching Bag.
Rick Riordan (The Staff of Serapis (Percy Jackson & Kane Chronicles Crossover #2))
The sky itches and that’s why I tickled it with the feather of a bird. Do you realize it’s been 14 days since two weeks ago? Boy, time flies.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
She wasn’t getting over him. In fact, she wanted Lucas even more now than she did weeks ago when she almost kissed him in his bed that first night after they fell.
Josephine Angelini (Goddess (Starcrossed, #3))
I already did a cave of horrors thing with you a few weeks ago, and it wasn't awesome.
Shannon Messenger (Everblaze (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #3))
Three weeks ago, he’d seen hail fall from the sky, only to be followed minutes later by a spectacular rainbow that seemed to frame the azalea bushes. The colors, so vivid they seemed almost alive, made him think that nature sometimes sends us signs, that it’s important to remember that joy can always follow despair. But a moment later, the rainbow had vanished and the hail returned, and he realized that joy was sometimes only an illusion.
Nicholas Sparks (The Choice)
People were intrinsically selfish, and many hated the idea of a woman in charge of the Institute. They would not put themselves at risk for her. Only a few weeks ago he would have said the same thing about himself. Now, knowing Charlotte, he realized to his surprise, the idea of risking himself for her seemed an honor, as it would be to most Englishmen to risk themselves for the queen.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
We had spent only a few weeks together, five years ago, but when you finally meet the person who in daydreams you had sculpted without words, the transparency of time becomes the color of hair, and shapeless years become the shape of lips.
Simon Van Booy (The Secret Lives of People in Love)
What’s this?” I asked. “I was hoping you could tell me,” she said. “It arrived a few weeks ago, left on my doorstep. At first, I thought it was some sort of gift from Malachi—even though this isn’t his style.” “Right,” agreed Adrian. “Grenades, camo vests . . . those are his usual gifts of choice.
Richelle Mead (The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6))
Alexia had found pregnancy relatively manageable, up to a point. That point having been some three weeks ago, at which juncture her natural reserves of control gave way to sentimentality. Only yesterday she had ended breakfast sobbing over the fried eggs because they looked at her funny. The pack had spent a good half hour trying to find a way to pacify her. Her husband was so worried he looked to start crying himself.
Gail Carriger (Heartless (Parasol Protectorate, #4))
Things are going to catch up to you one day, asshole!” She yells as I step into the hallway. “Karma is one hell of a bitch!” “I know.” I toss back. “I fucked her two weeks ago...
Whitney G. (Reasonable Doubt: Volume 1 (Reasonable Doubt, #1))
Do you know how long a year takes when it's going away?' Dunbar repeated to Clevinger. 'This long.' He snapped his fingers. 'A second ago you were stepping into college with your lungs full of fresh air. Today you're an old man.' 'Old?' asked Clevinger with surprise. 'What are you talking about?' 'Old.' 'I'm not old.' 'You're inches away from death every time you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age? A half minute before that you were stepping into high school, and an unhooked brassiere was as close as you ever hoped to get to Paradise. Only a fifth of a second before that you were a small kid with a ten-week summer vacation that lasted a hundred thousand years and still ended too soon. Zip! They go rocketing by so fast. How the hell else are you ever going to slow down?' Dunbar was almost angry when he finished. 'Well, maybe it is true,' Clevinger conceded unwillingly in a subdued tone. 'Maybe a long life does have to be filled with many unpleasant conditions if it's to seem long. But in that event, who wants one?' 'I do,' Dunbar told him. 'Why?' Clevinger asked. 'What else is there?
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
If you see Myrnin, tell him I said I want my slow cooker back." "Your- You let him borrow something you put food in?" Hannah's smile disappeared. "Why?" "Um, never mind. I'll make sure it gets disinfected before you get it back. But don't lend anything to him again unless you can put it in some kind of sterilizer." That made even Hannah look nervous. "Thanks. Tell crazy boy I said hey." "I will" Claire promised. "Hey, if you don't mind me asking - when did he borrow it from you?" "He just showed up at my door one night about a week ago, said, 'Hi, nice to meet you. Can I borrow your Crock-Pot?' Which I understand is pretty typical Myrnin.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
For as long as I could remember, other people had either overshadowed me or left me out in the open, alone. But Mac, as Layla had said all those weeks ago, was always somewhere nearby. He left me enough space to stand alone, but stood at the ready for the moment that I didn’t want to. It was the perfect medium, I was learning. Like he was my saint, the one I’d been waiting for.
Sarah Dessen (Saint Anything)
I'm serious," Lucien said as I lifted the glass to my lips, my brows raised. "Remember the last time you ignored my warning?" He poked me in the neck, and I batted his hand away. "I also remember you telling me how witchberries were harmless, and the next thing I knew, I was half-delirious and falling all over myself," I said, recalling the afternoon from a few weeks ago. I'd had hallucinations for hours afterwards, and Lucien had laughed himself sick-enough so that Tamlin had chucked him into the reflection pool.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
And I have tried to forget him, I have tried to convince myself that it was just one of those things, but it’s difficult to do that when my body is standing here, eight feet deep in the earth of northern France, while my heart remains by a stream in a clearing in England where I left it weeks ago.
John Boyne (The Absolutist)
I loved your eyes first,” I told him , repeating his words from a few weeks ago back to him, because it was true, and because we were two halves of a whole—we had been all along, and he’d been so clever to know it right away. I used to think it was insanity, but now I was beginning to think that it was pure brilliance. “I see it, too, James. I see the other half of my soul in you.
R.K. Lilley (Grounded (Up in the Air, #3))
Henry: [in an interrogation room] Don't say a word. Shawn: [pause] Fergulous. Henry: Shawn, I said no words. Shawn: Oh, I see. Two weeks ago, we're playing Scrabble, it's not a word. Suddenly it is a word because it's convenient for you.
Psych
Lysandra... Lady of Caraverre." "There is no Caraverre," Darrow said. Aelin shrugged. "There is now." Lysandra had settled on the name a week ago, whatever it meant, bolting upright in the middle of the night and practically shouting it at Aelin once she'd mastered herself long enough to shift back into her human form. Aelin doubted she'd soon forget the image of a wide-eyed ghost leopard trying to speak.
Sarah J. Maas (Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5))
Could you look again, please?” the woman asked in a clipped, slightly British accent. “It was sent parcel post two weeks ago from Miss Felicity Worthington and addressed to Mrs. Rao, Mrs. Gemma Doyle Rao.
Libba Bray (Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2))
Jason took me by the shoulders—not out of anger, or in a clinging way, but as a brother. “Promise me one thing. Whatever happens, when you get back to Olympus, when you’re a god again, remember. Remember what it’s like to be human.” A few weeks ago, I would have scoffed. Why would I want to remember any of this? At best, if I were lucky enough to reclaim my divine throne, I would recall this wretched experience like a scary B-movie that had finally ended. I would walk out of the cinema into the sunlight, thinking Phew! Glad that’s over. Now, however, I had some inkling of what Jason meant. I had learned a lot about human frailty and human strength. I felt…different toward mortals, having been one of them. If nothing else, it would provide me with some excellent inspiration for new song lyrics!
Rick Riordan (The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3))
President Kennedy’s assassination, less than two weeks ago, has struck the world dumb. It’s like no one wants to be the first to break the silence. Nothing seems important.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
A few weeks ago, if you had told me that being held in David Stark’s arms was one of the nicest things I’d ever feel, I wouldn’t have laughed at you. I would’ve been too busy choking on my own horror.
Rachel Hawkins (Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1))
I wished I'd known weeks ago that we didn't have to be chaperoned. I remembered my old daydreams: the prince and I, alone together, cuddling and whispering... I probably would have wised up and brocken the engagement sooner.
Margaret Peterson Haddix
This guy is different. I see him once in a while and we have fun and theres no pressure. We just have a good time. And he still writes for tranks and downers. A couple of weeks ago we flew down to the Virgin Islands for a weekend. It was a ball. Hey, crazy. Sounds great. Yeah. So your folks are still footin the bills, tilting his head toward the rest of the apartment, for the pad and so forth? Yeah. She laughed out loud again, Plus the fifty a week for the shrink. And sometimes I do a little freelance editing for a few publishers. And the rest of the time you just lay up and get high, eh? She smiled, Something like that.
Hubert Selby Jr. (Requiem for a Dream)
Back in my day, which was about a week and a half ago, we took our lumps and we got back up and we cried like babies and quit and then put on weight.
Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home, Part 3 (Season 8, #3))
I've been stabbed before. Barely a week ago, in fact. AND I've been audited, AND I come from a broken home. In short - no offense, shorty - you don't scare me.
MaryJanice Davidson (Undead and Unwed (Undead, #1))
I suppose you're right about some perspectives. Just a few weeks ago, I thought you were a dickhead.
Mary E. Pearson (The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #1))
I laugh, and it’s laughter, not light, that casts out the darkness building within me, that reminds me I am still alive, even in this strange place where everything I’ve ever known is coming apart. I know some things—I know that I’m not alone, that I have friends, that I’m in love. I know where I came from. I know that I don’t want to die, and for me, that’s something—more than I could have said a few weeks ago.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
Then I thought of the drive back, late at night, along the starlit river to this rickety antique New England hotel on a shoreline that I hoped would remind us both of the bay of B., and of Van Gogh's starry nights, and of the night I joined him on the rock and kissed him on the neck, and of the last night when we walked together on the coast road, sensing we'd run out of last-minute miracles to put off his leaving. I imagined being in his car asking myself, Who knows, would I want to, would he want to, perhaps a nightcap at the bar would decide, knowing that, all through dinner that evening, he and I would be worrying about the same exact thing, hoping it might happen, praying it might not, perhaps a nightcap would decide - I could just read it on his face as I pictured him looking away while uncorking a bottle of wine or while changing the music, because he too would catch the thought racing through my mind and want me to know he was debating the exact same thing, because, as he'd pour the wine for his wife, for me, for himself, it would finally dawn on us both that he was more me than I had ever been myself, because when he became me and I became him in bed so many years ago, he was and would forever remain, long after every forked road in life had done its work, my brother, my friend, my father, my son, my husband, my lover, myself. In the weeks we'd been thrown together that summer, our lives had scarcely touched, but we had crossed to the other bank, where time stops and heaven reaches down to earth and gives us that ration of what is from birth divinely ours. We looked the other way. We spoke of everything but. But we've always known, and not saying anything now confirmed it all the more. We had found the stars, you and I. And this is given once only.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
I started the day with some nothin’ tea. Nothin’ tea is easy to make. First, get some hot water, then add nothin’. I experimented with potato skin tea a few weeks ago. The less said about that the better.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
I love you. I don't know when it started, years ago or weeks. But I know my heart's lost to you, and I wouldn't have it another way. You're what I want, all there is of you.
Nora Roberts (Tears of the Moon (Gallaghers of Ardmore, #2))
On November 18 of alternate years Mr Earbrass begins writing 'his new novel'. Weeks ago he chose its title at random from a list of them he keeps in a little green note-book. It being tea-time of the 17th, he is alarmed not to have thought of a plot to which The Unstrung Harp might apply.
Edward Gorey (The Unstrung Harp)
Now, this pair," he waved the shoes he held, "are new. They haven't been walked a mile, and for new shoes like these I charge a talent, maybe a talent and two." He pointed at my feet. "Those shoes, on the other hand, are used, and I don't sell used shoes." He turned his back on me and started to tidy his workbench rather aimlessly, humming to himself... I knew that he was trying to do me a favor, and a week ago I would have jumped at the opportunity for free shoes. But for some reason I didn't feel right about it. I quietly gathered up my things and left a pair of copper jots on his stool before I left. Why? Because pride is a strange thing, and because generosity deserves generosity in return. But mostly because it felt like the right thing to do, and that is reason enough.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
A few weeks ago my uncle came over to borrow my dad's socket set and when he asked my dad how he was my dad said oh unexceptional. Living quietly with my disappointments. And how are you
Miriam Toews (A Complicated Kindness)
Thank you. Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich. [...] "But we have also," continued the management consultant, "run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three deciduous forests buying on ship's peanut." [...] "So in order to obviate this problem," he continued, "and effectively revalue the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and...er, burn down all the forests. I think you'll all agree that's a sensible move under the circumstances.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1-5))
I looked at our hands, caked and coated in red, but entwined. The pristine moment when they were clasped like that earlier in the day seemed weeks ago. "Clean." Peter said. "Can I get a water bottle or something to clean his hands?" I scanned the crowd. He drew my attention back to him with a pull of my hand. "No," Peter said. "I'm...clean." I had missed who Peter was until that very moment. I had called him names and treated him callously. I had read every micro expression in a vacuum of how it related to Austin Glass. And in return Peter had cared for my wounds, treated me tenderly and assured me that he was HIV negative while bleeding out in a hallway of strangers. I broke. It wasn't a visible fracture. I didn't sob or explode into anguish. I didn't give in to my vomitus urge that came from the burst of self-loathing. But I shattered nonetheless.
Dani Alexander (Shattered Glass (Shattered Glass, #1))
Coupla weeks ago, you gave me a fuckin’ sweet nightie and words I loved hearing.” I felt my entire body go still as I held his eyes. “Forgot to mention I feel the same,” he stated and my insides hollowed out. “What?” I breathed. “Put down the rice and come here, baby, I wanna tell you I love you when you’re in my arms.” I didn’t move. I stared at him, my internal organs gone but still, my body managed to produce tears which gathered in my eyes and then promptly and silently slid down my cheeks.
Kristen Ashley (Wild Man (Dream Man, #2))
Two-Minute Tyler got nixed two weeks ago,” she said. Vaughn looked unmistakably pleased, hearing this. “Why?” She slid her arms around his neck. “Because when he kissed me, I pictured you instead.” “Well, I hope you soaked it up, Sinclair. Because that was the last first kiss you’ll ever have.” He bent his head, his voice low and possessive. “All the rest are mine.
Julie James (It Happened One Wedding (FBI/US Attorney, #5))
I experimented with potato skin tea a few weeks ago. The less said about that the better.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
Imagine that you were on the threshold of this fairytale, sometime billions of years ago when everything was created. And you were able to choose whether you wanted to be born to a life on this planet at some point. You wouldn’t know when you were going to be born, nor how long you’d live for, but at any event it wouldn’t be more than a few years. All you’d know was that, if you chose to come into the world at some point, you’d also have to leave it again one day and go away from everything. This might cause you a good deal of grief, as lots of people think that life in the great fairytale is so wonderful that the mere thought of it ending can bring tears to their eyes. Things can be so nice here that it’s terribly painful to think that at some point the days will run out. What would you have chosen, if there had been some higher power that had gave you the choice? Perhaps we can imagine some sort of cosmic fairy in this great, strange fairytale. What you have chosen to live a life on earth at some point, whether short or long, in a hundred thousand or a hundred million years? Or would you have refused to join in the game because you didn’t like the rules? (...) I asked myself the same question maybe times during the past few weeks. Would I have elected to live a life on earth in the firm knowledge that I’d suddenly be torn away from it, and perhaps in the middle of intoxicating happiness? (...) Well, I wasn’t sure what I would have chosen. (...) If I’d chosen never to the foot inside the great fairytale, I’d never have known what I’ve lost. Do you see what I’m getting at? Sometimes it’s worse for us human beings to lose something dear to us than never to have had it at all.
Jostein Gaarder (The Orange Girl)
You can be our Gandalf,” I said, remembering our conversation from weeks ago, and smiling. “I’m only a year older than you. But I’ll take it as a compliment, if you let me be Dumbledore instead.” “If you insist.” I shrugged. “But Dumbledore is more dead.” “Point,” Daniel acknowledged. “You’re neither, actually.” Jamie looked up from a file he was reading. “You’re a muggle—” “Hey, now.” “Which makes you Giles.” Daniel considered it for a moment. “I’ll take it.
Michelle Hodkin (The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3))
But what if your obsession has nothing to do with drugs or thrills or money? What if what you want most in the world is to recapture the way life was a week, a month, a year ago-and you are willing to do whatever it takes?
Jodi Picoult (Perfect Match)
Right. And our first job is to teach her to give a speech on the Grand Balcony in three days.” “That does not sound too difficult. Has she done much public speaking?” Amilia forced a smile. “A week ago she said the word no.
Michael J. Sullivan (Rise of Empire (The Riyria Revelations, #3-4))
News of Daniel's disappearance does not alarm me as it might have done a week ago. Given recent events, very little alarms me as it might have done a week ago. I feel as if my supply of alarm has been exhausted, at least temporarily.
Patricia C. Wrede (The Mislaid Magician; or, Ten Years After (Cecelia and Kate, #3))
My panic is rising again. My sense of isolation and worthlessness. And no other senses worth mentioning apparently. It's not nice being inside my head. It's a nice place to visit but I don't want to live here. It's too crowded; too many traps and pitfalls. I'm tired of it. That same old person, day in and day out. I'd like to try something else. I tried to neaten my mind, file everything away into tidy little thoughts, but it only got more and more cluttered. My mind has a mind of its own. I try to define my limits by seeing just how far I can go, and I find that I passed them weeks ago. And I've got to find my way back.
Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist)
Why are you still complaining?” Miranda said. “It didn’t help yesterday; it didn’t help two weeks ago. What makes you think it’ll help now?
Rachel Aaron (The Legend of Eli Monpress (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #1-3))
It's hard to believe that two weeks ago I was excited about seeing Fitzy. Now I'm dreading it. M unicorn is no longer a unicorn. He's a judgmental donkey.
Elle Kennedy (The Chase (Briar U, #1))
Sugar," Tara said in a voice that was pure Pissed-Off South. "You need to go far, far away." A few weeks ago, he'd have taken that to mean she didn't want to see his face within a six-hundred-mile radius. Now he knew the truth. He distracted her. He could live with that. "Came to see if I can help." "I think I know how to make burgers," she said smoothly. "But bless your heart." In other words, f*** off and die.
Jill Shalvis (The Sweetest Thing (Lucky Harbor, #2))
I like photographing women who appear to know something of life. I recently did a session with a great beauty, a movie star in in her thirties. I photographed her twice within three weeks and the second time I said: "You're much more beautiful today than you were three weeks ago." And she replied: "But I'm also three weeks older.
Helmut Newton (White Women)
Ironic, isn’t it?” Shawn said. “It’s not ironic at all,” Gus said. “Dude, it’s so like a black fly in your chardonnay.” “How many times do I have to tell you that’s not ironic, either?” “Rain on your wedding day?” “‘Irony’ is the use of words to convey a meaning that’s opposite to their literal meaning,” Gus said. “That stupid song came out fourteen years ago, and we still have this exact conversation at least once a week.” “Yeah,” Shawn said. “Ironic, isn’t it?
William Rabkin (A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Read (Psych, #1))
About a week ago I was sitting in L.A.'s chicest nightclub with a few friends and the DJ was playing Yaz and Bowie and the videos were on and I was on my third gin and tonic and I realized that no matter where I am it's always the same. Camden, New York, L.A., Palm Springs - it really doesn't seem to matter. Maybe this should be disturbing but it's really not. I find it kind of comforting.
Bret Easton Ellis (The Informers)
What are the dead, anyway, but waves and energy? Light shining from a dead star? That, by the way, is a phrase of Julian's. I remember it from a lecture of his on the Iliad, when Patroklos appears to Achilles in a dream. There is a very moving passage where Achilles overjoyed at the sight of the apparition – tries to throw his arms around the ghost of his old friend, and it vanishes. The dead appear to us in dreams, said Julian, because that's the only way they can make us see them; what we see is only a projection, beamed from a great distance, light shining at us from a dead star… Which reminds me, by the way, of a dream I had a couple of weeks ago. I found myself in a strange deserted city – an old city, like London – underpopulated by war or disease. It was night; the streets were dark, bombed-out, abandoned. For a long time, I wandered aimlessly – past ruined parks, blasted statuary, vacant lots overgrown with weeds and collapsed apartment houses with rusted girders poking out of their sides like ribs. But here and there, interspersed among the desolate shells of the heavy old public buildings, I began to see new buildings, too, which were connected by futuristic walkways lit from beneath. Long, cool perspectives of modern architecture, rising phosphorescent and eerie from the rubble. I went inside one of these new buildings. It was like a laboratory, maybe, or a museum. My footsteps echoed on the tile floors.There was a cluster of men, all smoking pipes, gathered around an exhibit in a glass case that gleamed in the dim light and lit their faces ghoulishly from below. I drew nearer. In the case was a machine revolving slowly on a turntable, a machine with metal parts that slid in and out and collapsed in upon themselves to form new images. An Inca temple… click click click… the Pyramids… the Parthenon. History passing beneath my very eyes, changing every moment. 'I thought I'd find you here,' said a voice at my elbow. It was Henry. His gaze was steady and impassive in the dim light. Above his ear, beneath the wire stem of his spectacles, I could just make out the powder burn and the dark hole in his right temple. I was glad to see him, though not exactly surprised. 'You know,' I said to him, 'everybody is saying that you're dead.' He stared down at the machine. The Colosseum… click click click… the Pantheon. 'I'm not dead,' he said. 'I'm only having a bit of trouble with my passport.' 'What?' He cleared his throat. 'My movements are restricted,' he said. 'I no longer have the ability to travel as freely as I would like.' Hagia Sophia. St. Mark's, in Venice. 'What is this place?' I asked him. 'That information is classified, I'm afraid.' 1 looked around curiously. It seemed that I was the only visitor. 'Is it open to the public?' I said. 'Not generally, no.' I looked at him. There was so much I wanted to ask him, so much I wanted to say; but somehow I knew there wasn't time and even if there was, that it was all, somehow, beside the point. 'Are you happy here?' I said at last. He considered this for a moment. 'Not particularly,' he said. 'But you're not very happy where you are, either.' St. Basil's, in Moscow. Chartres. Salisbury and Amiens. He glanced at his watch. 'I hope you'll excuse me,' he said, 'but I'm late for an appointment.' He turned from me and walked away. I watched his back receding down the long, gleaming hall.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
Rolling hills that had been vibrant green just weeks ago were now muted in tone, as if they were taking a deep breath before bursting into the song of fall.
Heather Huffman (Throwaway (Unlikely Heroes & Heroines #1))
For instance, why do we still work eight hours a day, 50 weeks a year, when we're twice as productive as we were 50 years ago?
Jacob Lund Fisker (Early Retirement Extreme: A philosophical and practical guide to financial independence)
Bill Gates (and his successor at Microsoft, Ray Ozzie) are famous for taking annual reading vacations. During the year they deliberately cultivate a stack of reading material—much of it unrelated to their day-to-day focus at Microsoft—and then they take off for a week or two and do a deep dive into the words they’ve stockpiled. By compressing their intake into a matter of days, they give new ideas additional opportunities to network among themselves, for the simple reason that it’s easier to remember something that you read yesterday than it is to remember something you read six months ago.
Steven Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation)
MY MOTHER GETS DRESSED It is impossible for my mother to do even the simplest things for herself anymore so we do it together, get her dressed. I choose the clothes without zippers or buckles or straps, clothes that are simple but elegant, and easy to get into. Otherwise, it's just like every other day. After bathing, getting dressed. The stockings go on first. This time, it's the new ones, the special ones with opaque black triangles that she's never worn before, bought just two weeks ago at her favorite department store. We start with the heavy, careful stuff of the right toes into the stocking tip then a smooth yank past the knob of her ankle and over her cool, smooth calf then the other toe cool ankle, smooth calf up the legs and the pantyhose is coaxed to her waist. You're doing great, Mom, I tell her as we ease her body against mine, rest her whole weight against me to slide her black dress with the black empire collar over her head struggle her fingers through the dark tunnel of the sleeve. I reach from the outside deep into the dark for her hand, grasp where I can't see for her touch. You've got to help me a little here, Mom I tell her then her fingertips touch mine and we work her fingers through the sleeve's mouth together, then we rest, her weight against me before threading the other fingers, wrist, forearm, elbow, bicep and now over the head. I gentle the black dress over her breasts, thighs, bring her makeup to her, put some color on her skin. Green for her eyes. Coral for her lips. I get her black hat. She's ready for her company. I tell the two women in simple, elegant suits waiting outside the bedroom, come in. They tell me, She's beautiful. Yes, she is, I tell them. I leave as they carefully zip her into the black body bag. Three days later, I dream a large, green suitcase arrives. When I unzip it, my mother is inside. Her dress matches her eyeshadow, which matches the suitcase perfectly. She's wearing coral lipstick. "I'm here," she says, smiling delightedly, waving and I wake up. Four days later, she comes home in a plastic black box that is heavier than it looks. In the middle of a meadow, I learn a naked more than naked. I learn a new way to hug as I tighten my fist around her body, my hand filled with her ashes and the small stones of bones. I squeeze her tight then open my hand and release her into the smallest, hottest sun, a dandelion screaming yellow at the sky.
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
The maid found a handkerchief of hers, under the bed in which she had died. A ring that had been missing turned up in his own writing desk. A tradesman arrived with fabric she had ordered three weeks ago. Each day, some further evidence of a task half finished, a scheme incomplete. He found a novel, with her place marked. And this is it.
Hilary Mantel (A Place of Greater Safety)
The most important thing we've learned, So far as children are concerned, Is never, NEVER, NEVER let Them near your television set -- Or better still, just don't install The idiotic thing at all. In almost every house we've been, We've watched them gaping at the screen. They loll and slop and lounge about, And stare until their eyes pop out. (Last week in someone's place we saw A dozen eyeballs on the floor.) They sit and stare and stare and sit Until they're hypnotised by it, Until they're absolutely drunk With all that shocking ghastly junk. Oh yes, we know it keeps them still, They don't climb out the window sill, They never fight or kick or punch, They leave you free to cook the lunch And wash the dishes in the sink -- But did you ever stop to think, To wonder just exactly what This does to your beloved tot? IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD! IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD! IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND! IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND! HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE! HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE! HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES! 'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say, 'But if we take the set away, What shall we do to entertain Our darling children? Please explain!' We'll answer this by asking you, 'What used the darling ones to do? 'How used they keep themselves contented Before this monster was invented?' Have you forgotten? Don't you know? We'll say it very loud and slow: THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ, AND READ and READ, and then proceed To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks! One half their lives was reading books! The nursery shelves held books galore! Books cluttered up the nursery floor! And in the bedroom, by the bed, More books were waiting to be read! Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales And treasure isles, and distant shores Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars, And pirates wearing purple pants, And sailing ships and elephants, And cannibals crouching 'round the pot, Stirring away at something hot. (It smells so good, what can it be? Good gracious, it's Penelope.) The younger ones had Beatrix Potter With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter, And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland, And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and- Just How The Camel Got His Hump, And How the Monkey Lost His Rump, And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul, There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole- Oh, books, what books they used to know, Those children living long ago! So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install A lovely bookshelf on the wall. Then fill the shelves with lots of books, Ignoring all the dirty looks, The screams and yells, the bites and kicks, And children hitting you with sticks- Fear not, because we promise you That, in about a week or two Of having nothing else to do, They'll now begin to feel the need Of having something to read. And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy! You watch the slowly growing joy That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen They'll wonder what they'd ever seen In that ridiculous machine, That nauseating, foul, unclean, Repulsive television screen! And later, each and every kid Will love you more for what you did.
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1))
TRAVIS: I never said I like boys! GORDO: Ever beat off to Penthouse? TRAVIS: No. GORDO: Ever collect baseball cards? TRAVIS: No. GORDO: How old is Barbra Streisand? TRAVIS: 36. Three weeks ago. GORDO:What do you need—a fucking blueprint?
Steve Kluger (Almost Like Being in Love)
Trust me, this whole freakout is probably just hormonal. You only gave birth, what, a week ago? Your body's still, like, a wasteland of chemical imbalance.
Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Vol. 1)
I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim or too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard travelling. I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think that you've not got any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I'd starve to death before I'd sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow.
Woody Guthrie
Once, a few weeks ago, she’d heard a girl’s voice in there and wondered if it was porn on the computer until she could tell it wasn’t. She heard the voice say Eli’s name. E-liii. She’d turned her music as loud as she could, held her hands to her ears, even sang to herself, eyes clamped shut. She hoped he heard her fling off her Ked so hard it hit the wall. She hoped he remembered she was here.
Megan Abbott (The Fever)
Shut the door, they're coming through the window, shut the window, they're coming through the door," are the words to an old song. They fit my lifestyle with newly arriving butcher/censors every month. Only six weeks ago, I discovered that, over the years, some cubby-hole editors at Ballantine Books, fearful of contaminating the young, had, bit by bit, censored some 75 separate sections from the novel. Students, reading the novel which, after all, deals with censorship and book-burning in the future, write to tell me of this exquisite irony...
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
NINA Think of me sometimes. TRIGORIN I shall never forget you. I shall always remember you as I saw you that bright day--do you recall it?--a week ago, when you wore your light dress, and we talked together, and the white seagull lay on the bench beside us.
Anton Chekhov (The Seagull)
I've read something that Bill Gates said about six months ago. He said, ‘I worked really, really hard in my 20s.’ And I know what he means, because I worked really, really hard in my 20s too. Literally, you know, 7 days a week, a lot of hours every day. And it actually is a wonderful thing to do, because you can get a lot done. But you can't do it forever, and you don't want to do it forever, and you have to come up with ways of figuring out what the most important things are and working with other people even more.
Steve Jobs
I could tell her, I have feelings for you I haven’t had before. I’ve been struggling with them since the first second I saw you, weeks ago. I don’t know what these feelings mean, but I want to find out.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Player (Beautiful Bastard, #3))
Miles had sworn his officer's oath to the Emperor less than two weeks ago, puffed with pride at his achievement. In his secret mind he had imagined himself keeping that oath through blazing battle, enemy torture, what-have-you, even while sharing cynical cracks afterwards with Ivan about archaic dress swords and the sort of people who insisted on wearing them. But in the dark of subtler temptations, those that hurt without heroism for consolation, he foresaw, the Emperor would no longer be the symbol of Barrayar in his heart. Peace to you, small lady, he thought to Raina. You've won a twisted poor modern knight, to wear your favor on his sleeve. But it's a twisted poor world we were both born into, that rejects us without mercy and ejects us without consultation. At least I won't just tilt at windmills for you. I'll send in sappers to mine the twirling suckers, and blast them into the sky.... He knew who he served now. And why he could not quit. And why he must not fail.
Lois McMaster Bujold (The Mountains of Mourning)
I don't care if you care, I retorted. But in my religion, we're taught to admit our mistakes and to apologize for them...Oh, and there's one other thing I'm sorry about, I added. I should've spit in your eye and called you a szhlob weeks ago.
Amy Fellner Dominy (OyMG)
But after Mr. Evers got shot a week ago, lot a colored folk is frustrated in this town. Especially the younger ones, who ain't built up a callus yet.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
Boys next door were supposed to be fresh-faced with fair skin, butterscotch-blond hair they brushed out of clear blue eyes, and a smattering of freckles. They were also supposed to be friendly. We’d moved in a week ago and this kid had avoided us like we were a family of spitting cobras on crack.
A. Kirk (Demons at Deadnight (Divinicus Nex Chronicles, #1))
Two weeks ago he stopped playing fair. He showed up in glasses. Dark rimmed, sexy as hell, and totally unexpected. If someone would have told me that Ryker could get any more attractive, I would have said they were on crack. But I was wrong. Completely and totally wrong.
Meghan March (Bad Judgment)
I found this butterfly dead on our porch a few weeks ago. I have pressed it. It's one of those whose wing beats you loved best. You once said it reminded you of my heartbeat. None sounded sweeter.
Jan-Philipp Sendker (The Art of Hearing Heartbeats)
I woke up screaming. Or pretty close to screaming, considering I was still getting over a cold I’d caught from Josh two weeks ago that had left me sounding like a chain-smoker going through puberty.
Mariana Zapata (Wait for It)
Time is like a wheel. Turning and turning - never stopping. And the woods are the center; the hub of the wheel. It began the first week of summer, a strange and breathless time when accident, or fate, bring lives together. When people are led to do things, they've never done before. On this summer's day, not so very long ago, the wheel set lives in motion in mysterious ways.
Natalie Babbitt (Tuck Everlasting)
Dreamily the Princess stood up. "I'm not sure if I can walk," she said. "Then I'll carry you." "Is that what love is?" "I no longer know what love is. A week ago I had a lot of ideas. What love is and how to make it stay. Now that I'm in love, I haven't a clue. Now that I'm in love, I'm completely stupid on the subject.
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
What just happened was somethin’ that was bigger than all that. It was bigger than everything. I had a taste of you four years ago that I could never get off my tongue. Now, I’ve tasted more of you with more than just my mouth and I know I wanna keep it in a way I Don’t want to think of it ever bein’ done. Not in a few weeks. Not in a few months. Maybe not ever.
Kristen Ashley (Own the Wind (Chaos, #1))
Just over two weeks ago, right after we took the palace, he came to me in Vegas. He told me he’d fight for the chance to be with me, and I chose to give him that chance. I made the right decision. He might have a dark past, but he was strong enough to overcome it. He’s become something good. He’s become someone I respect, and if I have to fight for him now, I will.
Sandy Williams (The Shattered Dark (Shadow Reader, #2))
Harry felt winded, as though he had just walked into something heavy. He had last seen those cool gray eyes through slits in a Death Eater’s hood, and last heard that man’s voice jeering in a dark graveyard while Lord Voldemort tortured him. He could not believe that Lucius Malfoy dared look him in the face; he could not believe that he was here, in the Ministry of Magic, or that Cornelius Fudge was talking to him, when Harry had told Fudge mere weeks ago that Malfoy was a Death Eater.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
You can see in the dark, move incredibly fast, you don’t spar—” “Are you listing traits of fictional vamires?” he asked, amused, smirk still plastered on his face. I almost felt embarrassed, but why should I? I didn't know about his vampiric traits, or until a few weeks ago, that he even existed.
Inger Iversen (Few Are Angels (Few Are Angels, #1))
Here I made this for you. 'Twas finished weeks ago. I should have known better than to expect your attentions when you had no further need of me." She thrust a scrap of cloth at him. "Here." He took it. It was a handkerchief, embroidered with the Montague crest. "Thanks." "You're welcome. Go choke on it.
Melinda Taub (Still Star-Crossed)
San Narciso was a name; an incident among our climatic records of dreams and what dreams became among our accumulated daylight, a moment’s squall-line or tornado’s touchdown among the higher, more continental solemnities—storm-systems of group suffering and need, prevailing winds of affluence. There was the true continuity, San Narciso had no boundaries. No one knew yet how to draw them. She had dedicated herself, weeks ago, to making sense of what Inverarity had left behind, never suspecting that the legacy was America.
Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49)
Abigail,’ he says. ‘I thought it was you.’ ‘Hi!’ I say loudly. ‘Mark!’ ‘Who?’ says Robert. Fuck, he doesn’t know his real name. Why do I give everyone stupid nicknames? ‘I almost don’t recognise you out of your SKINNY JEANS,’ I enunciate carefully. He’s wearing grey flannel trousers and a pink T-Shirt with leather Converses. He speaks clothes exceptionally confidently for a straight man. I wonder if he’d take me shopping. ‘Oh, right. Got it.’ ‘That’s odd,’ says Skinny Jeans. ‘Since I was wearing nothing at all when you left my room without saying goodbye . . . let’s see, seven weeks ago?’ ‘Um, yes. Well, you know . . .’ I trail off. Come on, Robert, I think desperately. ‘I’m sorry, were you planning on making me breakfast in bed?’ says Robert. Yes! Make a joke! ‘I’m sorry, were you planning on making me breakfast in bed?’ I say. Skinny Jeans grins. ‘Scrambled eggs? Toast? On a little tray?’ ‘Scrambled eggs? Toast? On a little tray with a rose on it?’ I say. ‘Don’t fuck with my script,’ says Robert, which makes me grin slightly more broadly
Gemma Burgess
I think I can still shoot.” Nïx said, “Of course you can. Are you fishing for compliments? Fine.” As if reciting, she said, “Lucia the Archer, you are the best. You are unmatched in skill, peerless in all of the world—” “Nïx! I had sex. Skathi vowed she’d revoke my powers.” The soothsayer made a dismissive sound. “Oh, that? She took them back weeks ago.
Kresley Cole (Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark, #9))
There were moments when Lila wondered how the hell she’d gotten here. Which steps—and missteps—she’d taken. A year ago she’d been a thief in another London. A month ago she’d been a pirate, sailing on the open seas. A week ago she’d been a magician in the Essen Tasch. And now she was this.
V.E. Schwab (A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3))
Yes," Marcus says. "I understand that you are concerned -- that you all are concerned. You had never heard of the Divergent a week ago, and now all that you know is that they are immune to something to which you are susceptible, and that is a frightening thing. But I can assure you that there is nothing to be afraid of, as far as we are concerned." As he speaks, his head tilts and his eyebrows lift in sympathy, and I understand at once why some people like him. He makes you feel that if you just placed everything in his hands, he would take care of it.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
Yes,' he said, 'a list. That way, I figure, we'll have a written record of what we've agreed upon as our goals for our relationship. So if problems arise, we'll be able to consult the lists, see which issue it corresponds to, and work out a solution from there.' I could still hear my sister talking, but her voice was fading as she led her group around the house. I said, 'But what if that doesn't work?' Jason blinked at me. Then he said, 'Why wouldn't it?' 'Because,' I said. He just looked at me. 'Because...' 'Because,' I repeated, as a breeze blew over us,' sometimes things just happen. That aren't expected. Or on the list.' 'Such as?' he asked. 'I don't know,' I said, frustrated. 'That's the point. It would be out of the blue, taking us by surprise. Something we might not be prepared for.' 'But we will be prepared,' he said, confused. 'We'll have the list.' I rolled my eyes. 'Jason,' I said. 'Macy, I'm sorry.' He stepped back, looking at me. 'I just don't understand what you're trying to say.' And then it hit me: he didn't. He had no idea. And this thought was so ludicrous, so completely unreal, that I knew it just had to be true. For Jason, there was no unexpected, no surprises. His whole life was outlined carefully, in lists and sublists, just like the ones I'd helped him go through all those weeks ago. 'It's just...' I said and stopped, shaking my head. 'It's just what?' He was waiting, genuinely wanting to know. 'Explain it to me.' But I couldn't. I'd had to learn it my own way, and so had my mother. Jason would eventually, as well. No one could tell you: you just had to go through it on your own. If you were lucky, you came out on the other side and understood. If you didn't, you kept getting thrust back, retracing those steps, until you finally got it right.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
Didn't you just turn eighteen, Jen?" Vasile asked her. Jen looked a little confused at his choice of response. "Umm, yes. I believe that loud racket you heard a couple of weeks ago was Sally and Jacque's idea of a birthday party. What does that have to do with me leaving?" "If you are eighteen, Jen, you are an adult. I can't make you stay here. If you want to leave, if you really think that is the best thing for you, then you can go. I will allow you to use the pack plane to get back to the U.S. if that is truly what you want," Vasile explained. Jen cocked her head to the side, eyes narrowed at the Alpha sitting calmly in front of her. "Just like that? No trying to convince me to stay, or telling me not to give up, or yada yada yada bull crap?" "No 'yada yada yada bull crap'," he agreed. "Huh, okay then.
Quinn Loftis (Just One Drop (The Grey Wolves, #3))
Some day the load we're carrying with us may help someone. But even when we had the books on hand, a long time ago, we didn't use what we got out of them. We went right on insulting the dead. We went right on spitting in the graves of all the poor ones who died before us. We're going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we're doing, you can say, 'We're remembering'. That's where we'll win out in the long run. And some day we'll remember so much that we'll build the biggest goddamn steam-shovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove war in and cover it up. Come on now, we're going to go build a mirror-factory first and put out nothing but mirrors for the next year and take a long look in them.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
Starbreeze doesn't rest, doesn't sleep and can hear anything carried on moving air. It'd make her the perfect spy, except that most of what she hears goes in one ear and out the other. "I'm looking for a Precursor relic, a new one" "What's a relic?" Starbreeze said curiously. "A powerful magical thing. It would have been found a week or two ago" "What's a week?
Benedict Jacka (Fated (Alex Verus, #1))
Remembering the ball became for Emma a daily occupation. Every time Wednesday came round, she told herself when she woke up: 'Ah! One week ago...two weeks ago...three weeks ago, I was there!' And, little by little, in her memory, the faces all blurred together; she forgot the tunes of the quadrilles; no longer could she so clearly picture the liveries and the rooms; some details disappeared, but the yearning remained.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
Her family had of late been exceedingly fluctuating. For many years of her life she had had two sons; but the crime and annihilation of Edward a few weeks ago, had robbed her of one; the similar annihilation of Robert had left her for a fortnight without any; and now, by the resurrection of Edward, she had one again.
Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility)
Are you—” There seemed no way to say it but to say it. “Your Grace, are you trying to get me into your bed?” “Yes. Nightly. I said as much, not a minute ago. Are you listening at all?” “Listening, yes,” she muttered to herself. “Comprehending, no.” “I’ll have my solicitor draw up the papers.” He returned to his place behind the desk. “We can do it on Monday.” “Your Grace, I don’t—” “Tuesday, then.” “Your Grace, I cannot—” “Well, I’m afraid my schedule is quite booked for the rest of the week.” He flipped through the pages of an agenda. “Brooding, drinking, indoor badminton tournament . . .
Tessa Dare (The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke, #1))
Charm's a very dangerous thing. Lucien, tell me," Stephen said thoughtfully. "This respect for shamans, this inviolability..." "Mmm?" "Well, I don't know if you remember, but some three weeks ago, you tied me to your bedposts and spent two hours subjecting me to acts of unimaginable depravity. And considering you call me a shaman--" "I take issue with 'unimaginable'," Crane interrupted, sudden heat and light rushing through him. "I imagine those acts in detail every night you're not there. In fact, I've imagined quite a few more that I have every intention of subjecting you to when I get a chance.
K.J. Charles (A Case of Possession (A Charm of Magpies, #2))
On May 26th, 2003, Aaron Ralston was hiking, a boulder fell on his right hand, he waited four days, he then amputated his own arm with a pocketknife. On New Year’s Eve, a woman was bungee jumping, the cord broke, she fell into a river and had to swim back to land in crocodile-infested waters with a broken collarbone. Claire Champlin was smashed in the face by a five-pound watermelon being propelled by a slingshot. Mathew Brobst was hit by a javelin. David Striegl was actually punched in the mouth by a kangaroo. The most amazing part of these stories is when asked about the experience they all smiled, shrugged and said “I guess things could’ve been worse.” So go ahead, tell me you’re having a bad day. Tell me about the traffic. Tell me about your boss. Tell me about the job you’ve been trying to quit for the past four years. Tell me the morning is just a townhouse burning to the ground and the snooze button is a fire extinguisher. Tell me the alarm clock stole the keys to your smile, drove it into 7 am and the crash totaled your happiness. Tell me. Tell me how blessed are we to have tragedy so small it can fit on the tips of our tongues. When Evan lost his legs he was speechless. When my cousin was assaulted she didn’t speak for 48 hours. When my uncle was murdered, we had to send out a search party to find my father’s voice. Most people have no idea that tragedy and silence often have the exact same address. When your day is a museum of disappointments, hanging from events that were outside of your control, when you feel like your guardian angel put in his two weeks notice two months ago and just decided not to tell you, when it seems like God is just a babysitter that’s always on the phone, when you get punched in the esophagus by a fistful of life. Remember, every year two million people die of dehydration. So it doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty. There’s water in the cup. Drink it and stop complaining. Muscle is created by lifting things that are designed to weigh us down. When your shoulders are heavy stand up straight and call it exercise. Life is a gym membership with a really complicated cancellation policy. Remember, you will survive, things could be worse, and we are never given anything we can’t handle. When the whole world crumbles, you have to build a new one out of all the pieces that are still here. Remember, you are still here. The human heart beats approximately 4,000 times per hour and each pulse, each throb, each palpitation is a trophy, engraved with the words “You are still alive.” You are still alive. So act like it.
Rudy Francisco (Helium)
Connor asked that I make you like me,” Ashton casually says, easing his tight grip on my hips so that I’m not pressed directly against his erection, allowing me to breathe again. His mouth twists as if from something sour. “Since he really likes you.” Then he sighs, looking over my head, as he adds, “And I’m his best friend.” As if he’s reminding himself of that. Right, Connor. I swallow. The mention of Connor and his feelings for me while my hands are still flattened against his best friend’s chest, the one that I pawed repeatedly not even two weeks ago, fills me with guilt. “So?” Serious dark eyes lock on my face. “How do I do that, Irish? How do I make you like me?
K.A. Tucker (One Tiny Lie (Ten Tiny Breaths, #2))
I have no signs on my door—it was painted a week ago—,
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)
Did you look at the memo?” “What memo? We’re getting memos now?” “I sent a memo a week ago. I’ve been sending you a memo every week with a list of all the updates and my notes on all our cases for weeks now.” Holy cow. Missed the boat on that one. “Oh, those memos. I totally knew that.” “You’re not even reading them, are you?” “I thought they were optional.” Note to self: Stop making paper airplanes out of Cookie’s memos.
Darynda Jones (Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson, #7))
Tell me, what did you think of me before that day I gave you that note?” He did not feel any temptation to tell lies to her. It was even a sort of love-offering to start off by telling the worst. “I hated the sight of you,” he said. “I wanted to rape you and then murder you afterwards. Two weeks ago I thought seriously of smashing your head in with a cobble-stone.
George Orwell (1984)
There are outrages and there are outrages, and some are more outrageous than others. Mankind is resilient: the atrocities that horrified us a week ago become acceptable tomorrow. The Death of Socrates had no effect upon the history of Athens. If anything, the reputation of the city has been improved by it. The death of no person is as important to the future as the literature about it. You will learn nothing from history that can be applied, so don't kid yourself into thinking you can. 'History is bunk', said Henry Ford.
Joseph Heller (Picture This)
[Adapted and condensed Valedictorian speech:] I'm going to ask that you seriously consider modeling your life, not in the manner of the Dalai Lama or Jesus - though I'm sure they're helpful - but something a bit more hands-on, Carassius auratus auratus, commonly known as the domestic goldfish. People make fun of the goldfish. People don't think twice about swallowing it. Jonas Ornata III, Princeton class of '42, appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for swallowing the greatest number of goldfish in a fifteen-minute interval, a cruel total of thirty-nine. In his defense, though, I don't think Jonas understood the glory of the goldfish, that they have magnificent lessons to teach us. If you live like a goldfish, you can survive the harshest, most thwarting of circumstances. You can live through hardships that make your cohorts - the guppy, the neon tetra - go belly-up at the first sign of trouble. There was an infamous incident described in a journal published by the Goldfish Society of America - a sadistic five-year-old girl threw hers to the carpet, stepped on it, not once but twice - luckily she'd done it on a shag carpet and thus her heel didn't quite come down fully on the fish. After thirty harrowing seconds she tossed it back into its tank. It went on to live another forty-seven years. They can live in ice-covered ponds in the dead of winter. Bowls that haven't seen soap in a year. And they don't die from neglect, not immediately. They hold on for three, sometimes four months if they're abandoned. If you live like a goldfish, you adapt, not across hundreds of thousands of years like most species, having to go through the red tape of natural selection, but within mere months, weeks even. You give them a little tank? They give you a little body. Big tank? Big body. Indoor. Outdoor. Fish tanks, bowls. Cloudy water, clear water. Social or alone. The most incredible thing about goldfish, however, is their memory. Everyone pities them for only remembering their last three seconds, but in fact, to be so forcibly tied to the present - it's a gift. They are free. No moping over missteps, slip-ups, faux pas or disturbing childhoods. No inner demons. Their closets are light filled and skeleton free. And what could be more exhilarating than seeing the world for the very first time, in all of its beauty, almost thirty thousand times a day? How glorious to know that your Golden Age wasn't forty years ago when you still had all you hair, but only three seconds ago, and thus, very possibly it's still going on, this very moment." I counted three Mississippis in my head, though I might have rushed it, being nervous. "And this moment, too." Another three seconds. "And this moment, too." Another. "And this moment, too.
Marisha Pessl
If," ["the management consultant"] said tersely, “we could for a moment move on to the subject of fiscal policy. . .” “Fiscal policy!" whooped Ford Prefect. “Fiscal policy!" The management consultant gave him a look that only a lungfish could have copied. “Fiscal policy. . .” he repeated, “that is what I said.” “How can you have money,” demanded Ford, “if none of you actually produces anything? It doesn't grow on trees you know.” “If you would allow me to continue.. .” Ford nodded dejectedly. “Thank you. Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich.” Ford stared in disbelief at the crowd who were murmuring appreciatively at this and greedily fingering the wads of leaves with which their track suits were stuffed. “But we have also,” continued the management consultant, “run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three deciduous forests buying one ship’s peanut." Murmurs of alarm came from the crowd. The management consultant waved them down. “So in order to obviate this problem,” he continued, “and effectively revalue the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and. . .er, burn down all the forests. I think you'll all agree that's a sensible move under the circumstances." The crowd seemed a little uncertain about this for a second or two until someone pointed out how much this would increase the value of the leaves in their pockets whereupon they let out whoops of delight and gave the management consultant a standing ovation. The accountants among them looked forward to a profitable autumn aloft and it got an appreciative round from the crowd.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
I try to hear her voice, try to separate that single pitch from the shouts and applause. But she’s as lost to me as she was the night I cried and she didn’t turn back to see if I was okay. Three weeks, two days, and twenty-three hours ago. And she’s already with someone else.
David Levithan (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist)
Statistics say that a range of mental disorders affects more than one in four Americans in any given year. That means millions of Americans are totally batshit. but having perused the various tests available that they use to determine whether you're manic depressive. OCD, schizo-affective, schizophrenic, or whatever, I'm surprised the number is that low. So I have gone through a bunch of the available tests, and I've taken questions from each of them, and assembled my own psychological evaluation screening which I thought I'd share with you. So, here are some of the things that they ask to determine if you're mentally disordered 1. In the last week, have you been feeling irritable? 2. In the last week, have you gained a little weight? 3. In the last week, have you felt like not talking to people? 4. Do you no longer get as much pleasure doing certain things as you used to? 5. In the last week, have you felt fatigued? 6. Do you think about sex a lot? If you don't say yes to any of these questions either you're lying, or you don't speak English, or you're illiterate, in which case, I have the distinct impression that I may have lost you a few chapters ago.
Carrie Fisher (Wishful Drinking)
I adjusted my skirt again and looked down to evaluate the decency of its length. It's fine, Anna. At least my legs had a little muscle these days, instead of looking like a pair of toothpicks. Although I'd been pegged with nicknames like "Twiggy" and "Sticks" growing up, I didn't obsess about my figure, or lack of one. Padded bras were a helpful invention, and I was satisfied with the two small indentations in my sides that passed for a waist. Running had become my new pastime five weeks ago, after I'd read how my body is the "temple of my soul." Healthy temple: check.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Anya, you aren’t getting’ this but two weeks ago when you walked into my bedroom to use my phone, the life you been livin’ which isn’t all that good got better. A fuckuva lot better. Because I’m gonna make it that way. And in return, I’m gonna ask very little of you. And right now, all I’m askin’ is for you to hang here until I come home so I can spent more time with you since I probably not gonna see you again for another week.
Kristen Ashley (Knight (Unfinished Hero, #1))
I’d probably long ago have gone seven kinds of crazy, one for each day of the week, if I didn’t simplify my life in every area where I do have some control.
Dean Koontz (Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1))
Mr. Ludefance? This is Barnett Hooks. We’re a law firm over here in Tallahassee. I’ve been trying to reach you for over a week as I’m representing a client who is interested in hiring you.” “I’m currently out of the country, Mr. Hooks. Why don’t you tell me about the nature of the problem? Mind you, I don’t take infidelity cases anymore.” “No, it’s not that type of case. This is about the late Judge Russell Hastings. He was an appellate judge with the First District Court of Appeals here in Tallahassee who unfortunately was murdered about a year ago.
Behcet Kaya (Appellate Judge: A Jack Ludefance Novel (Jack Ludefance PI Series))
Why Do People become Shadowhunters, by Magnus Bane This Codex thing is very silly. Downworlders talk about the Codex like it is some great secret full of esoteric knowledge, but really itès a Boy Scout manual. One thing that it mysteriously doesnèt address is why people become Shadowhunters. And you should know that people become Shadowhunters for many stupid reasons. So here is an addition to your copy. Greetings, aspiring young Shadowhunter-to-be- or possibly already technically a Shadowhunter. I canèt remember whether you drink from the Cup first or get the book first. Regardless, you have just been recruited by the Monster Police. You may be wondering, why? Why of all the mundanes out there was I selected and invited to this exclusive club made up largely, at least from a historical perspective, of murderous psychopaths? Possible Reasons Why 1. You possess a stout heart, strong will, and able body. 2. You possess a stout body, able will, and strong heart. 3. Local Shadowhunters are ironically punishing you by making you join them. 4. You were recruited by a local institute to join the Nephilim as an ironic punishment for your mistreatment of Downworlders. 5. Your home , village, or nation is under siege by demons. 6. You home, village, or nation is under siege by rogue Downworlders. 7. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time. 8.You know too much, and should be recruited because the secrecy of the Shadow World has already been compromised for you. 9. You know too little; it would be helpful to the Shadowhunters if you knew more. 10. You know exactly the right amount, making you a natural recruit. 11. You possess a natural resistance to glamour magic and must be recruited to keep you quiet and provide you with some basic protection. 12. You have a compound last name already and have convinced someone important that yours is a Shadowhunter family and the Shadowhunteriness has just been weakened by generations of bad breeding. 13. You had a torrid affair with a member of the Nephilim council and now he's trying to cover his tracks. 14. Shadowhunters are concerned they are no longer haughty and condescending enough-have sought you out to add a much needed boost of haughty condescension. 15. You have been bitten by a radioactive Shadowhunter, giving you the proportional strength and speed of a Shadowhunter. 16. Large bearded man on flying motorcycle appeared to take you away to Shadowhunting school. 17. Your mom has been in hiding from your evil dad, and you found out you're a Shadowhunter only a few weeks ago. That's right. Seventeen reasons. Because that's how many I came up with. Now run off, little Shadowhunter, and learn how to murder things. And be nice to Downworlders.
Cassandra Clare (The Shadowhunter's Codex)
He had a book to finish. Ten-thousand words. The other ninety thousand had been difficult. This last tenth seemed impossible. His plot had become derailed. He was unable to see his way through the smoke and coke dust of a mythical railway track that should stretch ahead. Yes, the characters were there, good and solid. Indeed, the story's engine was strong and had shunted yet forward and forward, with only one or two sharp halts. But six weeks ago he met the bumpers. R. was now stuck in a deserted station, his progress blocked. ("Out Back")
Garry Kilworth
Look, man, I don’t know who you are, but that crocodile has been terrorizing Long Island for weeks. I take that kind of personal, as this is my home turf. A few days ago, it ate one of our pegasi.
Rick Riordan (The Son of Sobek (Percy Jackson & Kane Chronicles Crossover #1))
Tori swiveled in her seat as we came in. "There are more," she said. "He sent one every couple of weeks. The last one was only a few days ago." "Good," I said. "Would you mind keeping and eye on Andrew?" "Sure." She took off. "Wait." I grabbed Derek's sleeve as he headed for the chair Tori had vacated. I wanted to say something. I didn't know what. But there was no way to tell him that wouldn't be much of a shock, so I ended up stupidly murmuring, "Never mind." When he read what was on the screen, he went absolutely still, like he wasn't even breathing. After a few seconds, he yanked the laptop closer, leaning in to read it again. And again. Finally, he pushed back the chair and exhaled. "He's alive," I said. "You're dad's alive." He looked up at me and, I couldn't help it- I threw my arms around his neck and hugged him. Then I realized what I was doing. I let go, backing away, tripping over my feet, stammering, "I-I'm sorry. I'm just- I'm happy for you." "I know." Still sitting, he reached out and pulled me toward him. We stayed there, looking at each other, his hand still wrapped in my shirt hem, my heart hammering so hard I was sure he could hear it. "There's more," I said after a few seconds. "More emails, Tori said." He nodded and swiveled back to the computer, making room for me. When I inched closer, not wanting to intrude, he tugged me in front of him and I stumbled, half falling onto his lap. I tried to scramble up, cheeks burning, but he pulled me down onto his knee, one arm going around my waist, tentative, as if to say Is this okay? It was, even if my blood pounded in my ears so hard I couldn't think. Thankfully, I had my back to him because I was sure my cheeks were scarlet.
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction.
Ray Bradbury
From time to time I meet people who live among riches I cannot even imagine. I still have to make an effort to realize that others can feel envious of such wealth. A long time ago, I once lived a whole week luxuriating in all the goods of this world: we slept without a roof, on a beach, I lived on fruit, and spent half my days alone in the water. I learned something then that has always made me react to the signs of comfort or of a well-appointed house with irony, impatience, and sometimes anger. Although I live without worrying about tomorrow now, and therefore count myself among the privileged, I don't know how to own things. What I do have, which always comes to me without my asking for it, I can't seem to keep. Less from extravagance, I think, than from another kind of parsimony: I cling like a miser to the freedom that disappears as soon as there is an excess of things.
Albert Camus (Lyrical and Critical Essays)
There was some kind of X-men emergency, so all the teachers were gone. This happens every now and then. It's one of the perks of having super heroes for your teachers - when the world is about to end (which is like at least twice a month), school gets canceled. Heck, three weeks ago there was a big chemistry final for the upperclassmen. Beast was the teacher - he's this big, burly guy who can do acrobatic stuff like a monkey, but he also happens to be a super-genius. He's, like, legendary for his tough finals, so there were kids walking through the halls, going, "Oh, God, please let Galactus try to eat the earth. Please please please let there be an alien invasion by the Skrulls!
Barry Lyga (Wolverine: Worst Day Ever)
“Rachel...you need help.” I laugh and it’s the same bitter laugh I remember him giving when we met so many weeks ago. “So do you.” “I love you.” Isaiah says it so simply that my heart soars and sinks at the same time. “I love you,” I whisper. “Did you ever think that loving someone could hurt so bad?” Isaiah shakes his head and stares out the window. “What’s going to happen to us?” I ask. Because I don’t know how the two of us can continue forward. Isaiah refuses to let me in. It’s sort of cruel. He’s brought me close with his stories of his childhood and with his words of love, but he can’t relinquish control. I refuse to be with someone who won’t treat me as an equal.
Katie McGarry (Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3))
I remember another thing Cosmo said. It typically takes half the time you’re dating a guy to fall out of love with him. My ex and I were together almost ten months before he admitted over the holidays that he’d fallen out of love with me, so by that measure I should’ve been cured weeks ago. But once you’ve anticipated spending forever with someone, I’m not convinced you can ever feel complete after being uncoupled. I think you just learn to live without the person. Like when someone dies, you don’t stop loving them just because they’re not around to love you back anymore. Breakups truly are a kind of death.
Daria Snadowsky (Anatomy of a Single Girl (Anatomy, #2))
If you had told Gus even a week ago that a bow tie worn by a bearded guy who could pull off a man bun, for fuck’s sake, would be the beginning of his downfall, most likely he would have glowered at you until you returned to the pit from which you had crawled with the sole purpose of saying something ridiculous.
T.J. Klune (How to Be a Normal Person (How to Be, #1))
It was a little like Into the Sands, with Claude Barron, which she'd seen a couple of weeks ago. In that picture Claude Barron enlists in the Foreign Legion because Rita Carrol marries another guy. The other guy turns out to be a cheater and drinker, and so Rita Carrol leaves him and travels out to the desert where Claude Barron if fighting the Arabs. By the time Rita Carrol gets there he’s in the hospital, wounded, or not a hospital really but just a tent and she tells him she loves him and Claude Barron says, “I went into the desert to forget about you. But the sand was the color of your hair. The desert sky was the color of your eyes. There was nowhere I could go that wouldn’t be you.” And then he dies. Tessie cried buckets. Her mascara ran, staining the collar of her blouse something awful.
Jeffrey Eugenides
I'm here to tell niggas it ain't all swell. There's Heaven then there's Hell niggas One day your cruisin' in your seven, Next day your sweatin', forgettin' your lies, Alibis ain't matchin' up, bullshit catchin' up Hit with the RICO, they repoed your vehicle Everything was all good just a week ago 'Bout to start bitchin' ain't you? Ready to start snitchin' ain't you? I forgive you. Weak ass, hustlin' just ain't you Aside from the fast cars Honeys that shake they ass in bars You know you wouldn't be involved With the Underworld dealers, carriers of mac-millers East coast bodiers, West coast cap-peelers Little monkey niggas turned gorillas.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation Delivered on December 8, 1941 Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives: Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack. It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu. Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island. Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation. As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God. I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
So why were you with her?" "She was my assignment." "From The Eye?" "No,from the Boy Scouts. That Witch Dating badge just kept eluding me." "Well,you must have at least three Total Douchebag badges by now, so that has to count for something. What about Holly? Was that fake,too?" I was panting slightly, thanks to trying to keep up with him. Stupid short legs. He had his hands in his pockets, and hi head was slightly down, like he was walking against the wind. "You know, these were all things I was willing to tell you several weeks ago. Too bad you decided to stand me up." I had caught up to him by now, and I snagged his elbow,doing my best to ignore the little thrill that went through me even at that innocent touch. "How is that you can go from decent human being to complete jackass in zero-point-two seconds? Do they teach you that in The Eye?" He stopped, and his eyes glided over my lips. "Actually,I'm just trying to see if I can make you mad enough to kiss me again.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
You have to distinguish between two things - the Swedish economy and the Swedish stock market. The Swedish economy is the sum of all the goods and services that are produced in this country every day. There are telephones from Ericsson, cars from Volvo, chickens from Scan, and shipments from Kiruna to Skovde. That's the Swedish economy, and it's just as strong or weak today as it was a week ago... The Stock Exchange is something very different. There is no economy and no production of goods and services. There are only fantasies in which people from one hour to the next decide that this or that company is worth so many billions, more or less. It doesn't have a thing to do with the Swedish economy.
Stieg Larsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1))
It's a promise ring. A long time ago, they would be engraved with the words Pour route ma vie, de tout mon coeur, For my whole life, all of my love. I wanted to give you something that showed my complete and total devotion to you, to us. I have turned your world upside down. First when I tried to kill myself and left you to deal with the aftermath. Then again when I came back and you've been trying to handle my constantly changing life. I know I haven't been easy. I wish I could say that one day things might be simpler. But the truth is I can't say that. I wish I could. I can only say, with one hundred percent certainty that I love you. That I live and breathe for you. That I would lay down my life a million times over for you. And no matter what happens tomorrow, next week, next year, my heart will always be yours.
A. Meredith Walters (Light in the Shadows (Find You in the Dark, #2))
5 years, 260 weeks, 1,825 days, 2.3 million minutes. That was how long ago I met you.If I did it all again. Would you come along for the ride? I hope so. If I did it all again. Could you play this game with me? 
I hope so.And 5 years, 260 weeks, 1,825 days, 2.3 million minutes from today, will we still be together? I hope so. Because I love you. Do you believe we will still be together? I hope so. Because I really love you. Do you know so?Now you do—I love my beautiful gir
Kim Karr (Connected (Connections, #1))
I would let her...have adventures. I would let her...choose her path. It would be hard...it was hard...but I would do it. Oh, not completely, of course. Some things have to go on. Cleaning one's teeth, arithmetic. But Maia fell in love with the Amazon. It happens. THe place was for her - and the people. Of course there was some danger, but there is danger everywhere. Two years ago, in this school, there was an outbreak of typhus, and three girls died. CHildren are knocked down and killed by horses every week, here in these streets--" She broke off, gathering her thoughts. "When she was traveling and exploring...and finding her songs, Maia wasn't just happy, she was...herself. I think something broke in Maia when her parents died, and out there it healed. Perhaps I'm mad--and the professor too-- but I think children must lead big lives...if it is in them to do so.
Eva Ibbotson (Journey to the River Sea)
What would things look like if Satan really took control of a city? Over half a century ago, Presbyterian minister Donald Grey Barnhouse offered his own scenario in his weekly sermon that was also broadcast nationwide on CBS radio. Barnhouse speculated that if Satan took over Philadelphia (the city where Barnhouse pastored), all of the bars would be closed, pornography banished, and pristine streets would be filled with tidy pedestrians who smiled at each other. There would be no swearing. The children would say "Yes, sir" and "No, ma'am," and the churches would be full every Sunday...where Christ was not preached.
Michael S. Horton (Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church)
Who asked him to make a gentleman of me? I was happy. I was free. I touched pretty nigh everybody for money when I wanted it, same as I touched you, Henry Higgins. Now I am worrited; tied neck and heels; and everybody touches me for money. It's a fine thing for you, says my solicitor. Is it? says I. You mean it's a good thing for you, I says. When I was a poor man and had a solicitor once when they found a pram in the dust cart, he got me off, and got shut of me and got me shut of him as quick as he could. Same with the doctors: used to shove me out of the hospital before I could hardly stand on my legs, and nothing to pay. Now they finds out that I'm not a healthy man and cant live unless they looks after me twice a day. In the house I'm not let do a hand's turn for myself: somebody else must do it and touch me for it. A year ago I hadn't a relative in the world except two or three that wouldn't speak to me. Now I've fifty, and not a decent week's wages among the lot of them. I have to live for others and not for myself: that's middle class morality.
George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion)
First I need to do something.’ He pulled me closer towards him until our lips were almost touching. ‘What might that be?’ I managed to stutter, closing my eyes, anticipating the warmth of his lips against mine. But the kiss didn’t come. I opened my eyes. Alex had jumped to his feet. ‘Swim,’ he said, grinning at me. ‘Come on.’ ‘Swim?’ I pouted, unable to hide my disappointment that he wanted to swim rather than make out with me. Alex pulled his T-shirt off in one swift move. My eyes fell straightaway to his chest – which was tanned, smooth and ripped with muscle, and which, when you studied it as I had done, in detail, you discovered wasn’t a six-pack but actually a twelve-pack. My eyes flitted to the shadowed hollows where his hips disappeared into his shorts, causing a flutter in parts of my body that up until three weeks ago had been flutter-dormant. Alex’s hands dropped to his shorts and he started undoing his belt. I reassessed the swimming option. I could definitely do swimming. He shrugged off his shorts, but before I could catch an eyeful of anything, he was off, jogging towards the water. I paused for a nanosecond, weighing up my embarrassment at stripping naked over my desire to follow him. With a deep breath, I tore off my dress then kicked off my underwear and started running towards the sea, praying Nate wasn’t doing a fly-by. The water was warm and flat as a bath. I could see Alex in the distance, his skin gleaming in the now inky moonlight. When I got close to him, his hand snaked under the water, wrapped round my waist and pulled me towards him. I didn’t resist because I’d forgotten in that instant how to swim. And then he kissed me and I prayed silently and fervently that he took my shudder to be the effect of the water. I tried sticking myself onto him like a barnacle, but eventually Alex managed to pull himself free, holding my wrists in his hand so I couldn’t reattach. His resolve was as solid as a nuclear bunker’s walls. Alex had said there were always chinks. But I couldn’t seem to find the one in his armour. He swam two long strokes away from me. I trod water and stayed where I was, feeling confused, glad that the night was dark enough to hide my expression. ‘I’m just trying to protect your honour,’ he said, guessing it anyway. I groaned and rolled my eyes. When was he going to understand that I was happy for him to protect every other part of me, just not my honour?
Sarah Alderson (Losing Lila (Lila, #2))
I know your race. It is made up of sheep. It is governed by minorities, seldom or never by majorities. It suppresses its feelings and its beliefs and follows the handful that makes the most noise. Sometimes the noisy handful is right, sometimes wrong; but no matter, the crowd follows it. The vast majority of the race, whether savage or civilized, are secretly kind-hearted and shrink from inflicting pain, but in the presence of the aggressive and pitiless minority they don't dare to assert themselves. Think of it! One kind-hearted creature spies upon another, and sees to it that he loyally helps in iniquities which revolt both of them. Speaking as an expert, I know that ninety- nine out of a hundred of your race were strongly against the killing of witches when that foolishness was first agitated by a handful of pious lunatics in the long ago. And I know that even to-day, after ages of transmitted prejudice and silly teaching, only one person in twenty puts any real heart into the harrying of a witch. And yet apparently everybody hates witches and wants them killed. Some day a handful will rise up on the other side and make the most noise--perhaps even a single daring man with a big voice and a determined front will do it--and in a week all the sheep will wheel and follow him, and witch-hunting will come to a sudden end. Monarchies, aristocracies, and religions are all based upon that large defect in your race--the individual's distrust of his neighbor, and his desire, for safety's or comfort's sake, to stand well in his neighbor's eye. These institutions will always remain, and always flourish, and always oppress you, affront you, and degrade you, because you will always be and remain slaves of minorities. There was never a country where the majority of the people were in their secret hearts loyal to any of these institutions.
Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger)
Did I tell you about Anton?" Loots said. Anton?" I shook my head. It was a week ago, Loots said. There had been a knock on the door of his apartment and when he opened it his old friend Anton was standing there. Anton was a clown. He belonged to a circus that toured the provinces, playing to small towns and villages. They talked about the old days for a while, but Anton became increasingly restless and distracted. In the end Loots had to ask him if there was something wrong. This is going to sound strange." The clown coughed nervously into his fist. "It's The Invisible Man. He's disappeared." Loots stared at his friend. He just vanished," Anton said, "into thin air." The Invisible Man?" Loots said. Yes." He's disappeared?" I told you it would sound strange," Anton said.
Rupert Thomson (The Insult)
A few years ago, long after it had been closed, Eli said he saw a girl swimming in it, coming out of the water in a bikini, laughing at her frigthtened boyfriend, seaweed snaking around her. He said she looked like a mermaid. Deenie always pictured it like in one of those books of mythology she used to love, a girl rising from the foam gritted with pearls, mussels, the glitter of the sea. "It looks beautiful", her mother had said once when they were driving by at night, its waters opaline. “It is beautiful. But it makes people sick.” To Deenie, it was one of many interesting things that adults said would kill you: Easter lilles, jellyfish, copperhead snakes with their diamond heads, tails bright as sulfur. Don't touch, don't taste, don't get too close. And then, last week.
Megan Abbott (The Fever)
A story has come down about Rumi: a woman asks if he would say something to her young boy about his eating too much of a particular kind of white-sugar candy. Rumi tells her to come back in two weeks. She does, and he tells her again to come in two weeks. She does, and he advises the child to cut down on sweets. "Why did you not say this a month ago?" "Because I had to see if I could resist having that candy for two weeks. I couldn't. Then I tried again and was successful. Only now can I tell him to try not to have so much.
Coleman Barks (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
Dunbar loved shooting skeet because he hated every minute of it and the time passed so slowly. He had figured out that a single hour on the skeet-shooting range with people like Havermeyer and Appleby could be worth as much as eleven-times-seventeen years. “I think you’re crazy,” was the way Clevinger had responded to Dunbar’s discovery. “Who wants to know?” Dunbar answered. “I mean it,” Clevinger insisted. “Who cares?” Dunbar answered. “I really do. I’ll even go as far as to concede that life seems longer i—“ “—is longer i—“ “—is longer—IS longer? All right, is longer if it’s filled with periods of boredom and discomfort, b—“ “Guess how fast?” Dunbar said suddenly. “Huh?” “They go,” Dunbar explained. “Who?” “Years.” “Years?” “Years,” said Dunbar. “Years, years, years.” “Do you know how long a year takes when it’s going away?” Dunbar asked Clevinger. “This long.” He snapped his fingers. “A second ago you were stepping into college with your lungs full of fresh air. Today you’re an old man.” “Old?” asked Clevinger with surprise. “What are you talking about?” “Old.” “I’m not old.” “You’re inches away from death every time you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age? A half minute before that you were stepping into high school, and an unhooked brassiere was as close as you ever hoped to get to Paradise. Only a fifth of a second before that you were a small kid with a ten-week summer vacation that lasted a hundred thousand years and still ended too soon. Zip! They go rocketing by so fast. How the hell else are you ever going to slow time down?” Dunbar was almost angry when he finished. “Well, maybe it is true,” Clevinger conceded unwillingly in a subdued tone. Maybe a long life does have to be filled with many unpleasant conditions if it’s to seem long. But in that event, who wants one?” “I do,” Dunbar told him. “Why?” Clevinger asked. “What else is there?
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
What happened yesterday, or last week, or ten years ago … those things aren’t important. What really matters is now, here, today, tomorrow, next year. Some people fall in love at first sight and stay together for ever, other people marry their childhood sweetheart and end up in the divorce courts. You can't predict life, Jonah, you can only truly try to make the best of whatever it throws at you.´
Josie Silver (The Two Lives of Lydia Bird)
She says it’s wrong to be frittering away my hours asking questions when there’s work to be done. But I don’t see how a question can be wrong. Can you, Pa? Ma says the Bible sets out what’s right and wrong so we don’t have to bother ourselves with it none but it seems to me that it ain’t so matter-of-fact. Like when you kilt that old cow last week and I didn’t want to eat it ’cause he was my favorite and so gentle besides. Ma said I was sinful to waste food. But I said that maybe we shouldn’t go about killing and eating cows when they was so peaceful-like. Ma said that was foolishness and that God put the cows here just so as we can eat ’em. But that don’t seem like such a good deal for the cows to me. Preacher told us not more than four Sundays ago that God loves all his creatures, but it ain’t loving to my way of thinking to create a thing just for it to be food. Them cows ain’t never done nothing to us. Which got me to thinking that maybe we got it wrong and they got a purpose we don’t know nothing about.
Victoria Forester (The Girl Who Could Fly (Piper McCloud, #1))
...as the hooded figure spun, his cloak swirling around him. My stomach lurched as our gazes met. Cold ice-blue eyes stabbed at me from beneath the hood, and bright silver hair fell around his face, the only spots of color to be seen. Beneath the cloak, he was dressed in black: black shirt, pants, boots, even gloves. I remembered the smiling, easygoing faery from just a week ago. The hard-eyed creature dressed all in black, staring at me in this den of shadow and fear, seemed like a stranger.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #2))
New Rule: Just because a country elects a smart president doesn't make it a smart country. A couple of weeks ago, I was asked on CNN if I thought Sarah Palin could get elected president, and I said I hope not, but I wouldn't put anything past this stupid country. Well, the station was flooded with emails, and the twits hit the fan. And you could tell that these people were really mad, because they wrote entirely in CAPITAL LETTERS!!! Worst of all, Bill O'Reilly refuted my contention that this is a stupid country by calling me a pinhead, which (a) proves my point, and (b) is really funny coming from a doody-face like him. Now, before I go about demonstration how, sadly, easy it is to prove the dumbness that's dragging us down, let me just say that ignorance has life-and-death consequences. On the eve of the Iraq War, seventy percent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11. Six years later, thirty-four percent still do. Or look at the health-care debate: At a recent town hall meeting in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his congressman to "keep your government hands off my Medicare," which is kind of like driving cross-country to protest highways. This country is like a college chick after two Long Island iced teas: We can be talked into anything, like wars, and we can be talked out of anything, like health care. We should forget the town halls, and replace them with study halls. Listen to some of these stats: A majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is. Twenty-four percent could not name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War. More than two-thirds of Americans don't know what's in Roe v. Wade. Two-thirds don't know what the Food and Drug Administration does. Some of this stuff you should be able to pick up simply by being alive. You know, like the way the Slumdog kid knew about cricket. Not here. Nearly half of Americans don't know that states have two senators, and more than half can't name their congressman. And among Republican governors, only three got their wife's name right on the first try. People bitch and moan about taxes and spending, but they have no idea what their government spends money on. The average voter thinks foreign aid consumes more twenty-four percent of our budget. It's actually less than one percent. A third of Republicans believe Obama is not a citizen ad a third of Democrats believe that George Bush had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, which is an absurd sentence, because it contains the words "Bush" and "knowledge." Sarah Palin says she would never apologize for America. Even though a Gallup poll say eighteen percent of us think the sun revolves around the earth. No, they're not stupid. They're interplanetary mavericks. And I haven't even brought up religion. But here's one fun fact I'll leave you with: Did you know only about half of Americans are aware that Judaism is an older religion than Christianity? That's right, half of America looks at books called the Old Testament and the New Testament and cannot figure out which came first. I rest my case.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Demons never die quietly, and a week ago the storm was a proper demon, sweeping through the Caribbean after her long ocean crossing from Africa, a category five when she finally came ashore at San Juan before moving on to Santo Domingo and then Cuba and Florida. But now she's grown very old, as her kind measures age, and these are her death throes. So she holds tightly to this night, hanging on with the desperate fury of any dying thing, any dying thing that might once have thought itself invincible.
Caitlín R. Kiernan
I saw them,” he said. I frowned. “Saw what?” He took a deep breath as he eyed me. “The paintings.” For a moment, I didn’t get where he was going with this. Not when he traced the curve of my cheek with his thumb and not when a soft smile curved his lips. And then it hit me. “The paintings?” I swallowed and started to sit up, but he didn’t let me get very far. “The paintings at my place?” When he nodded, I felt my face heat like I was out under the summer sun. “The ones that are . . . ?” “Of me?” he supplied. I squeezed my eyes shut. “Oh my God. Seriously?” “Yes.” Mortified, I didn’t know what to say. “They were in my closet. Why were you in my closet?” “Looking for a psycho stalker,” he answered. My eyes popped opened. “That . . . that was like two weeks ago! You saw them back then and didn’t say anything.” Reece sat up, bringing me with him. Somehow my body ended up between his legs and we were face-to-face. “I didn’t say anything, because I figured you’d respond this way.” “Of course I’d respond this way! It’s embarrassing. You probably think I’m some kind of freak. A stalker—a creepy stalker who paints pictures of you when you’re not around.” “I don’t think you’re a stalker, babe.” His voice was dry. I screwed up my face. “I can’t believe you saw them.” He chuckled, and my eyes narrowed on him. “Honestly? I really didn’t know how you truly felt about me until I saw them.” My brows flew up. “I thought you were all-knowing.” Reece smirked. “I had my suspicions that you were in love with me from the first time you laid eyes on me.” “Oh dear baby Jesus in a manger,” I muttered. “But I don’t think I was a hundred percent until I saw those paintings, especially the one of me in the kitchen. You painted that after . . . after I left.” His brows lowered as he gave a little shake of his head. “It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. I think it’s sweet.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Fall with Me (Wait for You, #4))
the past is now barely present in my thoughts. I believe the main reason for that is our children, since life with them in the here and now occupies all the space. They even squeeze out the most recent past: Ask me what I did three days ago and I can’t remember. Ask me what Vanja was like two years ago, Heidi two months ago, John two weeks ago, and I can’t remember. A lot happens in our little everyday life, but it always happens within the same routine, and more than anything else it has changed my perspective of time. For, while previously I saw time as a stretch of terrain that had to be covered, with the future as a distant prospect, hopefully a bright one, and never boring at any rate, now it is interwoven with our life here and in a totally different way.
Karl Ove Knausgård (My Struggle: Book 1)
daughter of the servants.” “Gee, you must have been lonely, Judge, having nobody to play with.” “I played with Sam Westing—chess. Hour after hour I sat staring down at that chessboard. He lectured me, he insulted me, and he won every game.” The judge thought of their last game: She had been so excited about taking his queen, only to have the master checkmate her in the next move. Sam Westing had deliberately sacrificed his queen and she had fallen for it. “Stupid child, you can’t have a brain in that frizzy head to make a move like that.” Those were the last words he ever said to her. The judge continued: “I was sent to boarding school when I was twelve. My parents visited me at school when they could, but I never set foot in the Westing house again, not until two weeks ago.” “Your folks must have really worked hard,” Sandy said. “An education like that costs a fortune.” “Sam Westing paid for my education. He saw that I was accepted into the best schools, probably arranged for my first job, perhaps more, I don’t know.” “That’s the first decent thing I’ve heard about the old man.” “Hardly decent, Mr. McSouthers. It was to Sam Westing’s advantage to have a judge in his debt. Needless to say, I have excused myself from every case remotely connected with
Ellen Raskin (The Westing Game)
It is a strange time, my dear. A novel virus haunts our streets. Days feel like weeks, weeks like months. We’re blasted with new news every second— yes and then no and then yes and no, feeding our primal panic to hoard goods and leave shelves breadless, riceless. They tell us the pandemic makes all equal—the poor and very rich— then why are the poor poorer and the rich profiting? It is a strange time, my dear. Army men are marching our streets. They force us to stay inside, threaten and arrest for a walk in the park. They wage small wars against us, but this battle began long ago. The elite technocrats are crowing in their silicone valleys as corporations grow and small businesses fold with mountains of debt— the centre cannot, will not, hold! It is a strange time, my dear. Mainstream media reports the world has never been safer as they terrorise the chambers of our minds. This stress, this anxiety is killing our immunity. But we must do it all for the elderly— or so they say! When have they ever cared for our elders? When have they ever cared for our vulnerable? We go to bed dreaming of toilet paper while they dismantle the world economy. Family businesses go bust all so we can protect the people, but only the people are suffering! At the end of this, those retired will have peanuts for pensions. They are stripping us of everything whilst our eyes are fixed on our screens. And how dare we say it’s a strange time when in seven months we’ll make America great again.
Kamand Kojouri
Meg! I love you! I want to marry you!” “That’s weird,” she said without stopping. “Only six weeks ago, you were telling me all about how Lucy broke your heart.” “I was wrong. Lucy broke my brain.” That finally stopped her. “Your brain?” She looked back at him. “That’s right,” he said more quietly. “When Lucy ran out on me, she broke my brain. But when you left . . .” To his dismay, his voice cracked. “When you left, you broke my heart.” He finally had her full attention, not that she looked at all dreamy-eyed or even close to being ready to throw herself into his arms, but at least she was listening. He collapsed the umbrella, took a step forward, then stopped himself. “Lucy and I fit together so perfectly in my head. We had everything in common, and what she did made no sense. I had the whole town lining up feeling sorry for me, and I was damned if I was going to let anybody know how miserable I was. I—I couldn’t get my bearings. And there you were in the middle of it, this beautiful thorn in my side, making me “feel like myself again. Except . . .” He hunched his shoulders, and a trickle of rainwater ran down his collar. “Sometimes logic can be an enemy. If I was so wrong about Lucy, how could I trust the way I felt about you?” She stood there, not saying a word, just listening. “I wish I could say I realized how much I loved you as soon as you left town, but I was too busy being mad at you for bailing on me. I don’t have a lot of practice being mad, so it took me a while to understand that the person I was really mad at was myself. I was so pigheaded and stupid. And afraid. Everything has always come so easy for me, but nothing about you was easy. The things you made me feel. The way you forced me to look at myself.” He could barely breathe. “I love you, Meg. I want to marry you. I want to sleep with you every night, make love with you, have kids. I want to fight together and work together and—just be together. Now are you going to keep standing there, staring at me, or could you put “me out of my misery and say you still love me, at least a little?
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Call Me Irresistible (Wynette, Texas, #5))
Saul stared at his Whisky Sour. He hadn’t heard from Zoe in about a week. Maybe she had lost interest. All at once, the room was filled with people laughing, talking about how wonderful it was to be a couple. He was mildly amused at how disconcerting being alone felt. He had met Zoe about a month ago, when he helped her cross a busy boulevard. Yet, it seemed like he had known her for years. He stepped outside to call and leave another message.
Michael Ben Zehabe
Listen, listen!" I interrupted her. "Forgive me if I tell you something else.... I tell you what, I can't help coming here to-morrow, I am a dreamer; I have so little real life that I look upon such moments as this now, as so rare, that I cannot help going over such moments again in my dreams. I shall be dreaming of you all night, a whole week, a whole year. I shall certainly come here to-morrow, just here to this place, just at the same hour, and I shall be happy remembering today. This place is dear to me already. I have already two or three such places in Petersburg. I once shed tears over memories ... like you.... Who knows, perhaps you were weeping ten minutes ago over some memory.... But, forgive me, I have forgotten myself again; perhaps you have once been particularly happy here....
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (White Nights)
Because there haven’t been any advances,” Malcolm said. “Not really. Thirty thousand years ago; when men were doing cave paintings at Lascaux, they worked twenty hours a week to provide themselves with food and shelter and clothing. The rest of the time, they could play, or sleep, or do whatever they wanted. And they lived in a natural world, with clean air, clean water, beautiful trees and sunsets. Think about it. Twenty hours a week. Thirty thousand years ago.” Ellie said, “You want to turn back the clock?” “No,” Malcolm said. “I want people to wake up. We’ve had four hundred years of modern science, and we ought to know by now what it’s good for, and what it’s not good for. It’s time for a change.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
For [Stephen] Harper, a national daycare plan bordered on being a socialist scheme, a phrase he had once used to describe the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. For [Paul] Martin, whose plan would have transferred to the provinces $5 billion over five years, the national program was what Canadianism was all about. "Think about it this way," [Martin] said. "What if, decades ago, Tommy Douglas and my father and Lester Pearson had considered the idea of medicare and then said, 'Forget it! Let's just give people twenty-five dollars a week.' You want a fundamental difference between Mr. Harper and myself? Well, this is it.
Lawrence Martin (Harperland: The Politics Of Control)
To remember sometimes is a great sorrow, but when the remembering has been done, there comes afterwards a very curious peacefulness. Because you have planted your flag on the summit of the sorrow. You have climbed it. And I notice again in the writing of this confession that there is nothing called long-ago after all. When things are summoned up, it is all present time, pure and simple. So that, much to my surprise, people I have loved are allowed to live again. What it is that allows them I don’t know. I have been happy now and then in the last two weeks, the special happiness that is offered from the hand of sorrow.
Sebastian Barry
No country was ever easier to spy on, Tom, no nation so open-hearted with its secrets, so quick to air them, confide them, or consign them too early to the junk heap of planned American obsolescence. I am too young to know whether there was a time when Americans were able to restrain their admirable passion to communicate, but I doubt it. Certainly the path has been downhill since 1945, for it was quickly apparent that information which ten years ago would have cost Axl's service thousands of dollars in precious hard currency could by the mid-70s be had for a few coppers from the Washington Post. We could have resented this sometimes, if we had smaller natures, for there are few things more vexing in the spy world than landing a scoop for Prague and London one week, only to read the same material in Aviation Weekly the next. But we did not complain. In the great fruit garden of American technology, there were pickings enough for everyone and none of us need ever want for anything again.
John le Carré
It was an old hunter in camp and the hunter shared tobacco with him and told him of the buffalo and the stands he'd made against them, laid up in a sag on some rise with the dead animals scattered over the grounds and the herd beginning to mill and the riflebarrel so hot the wiping patches sizzled in the bore and the animals by the thousands and the tens of thousands and the hides pegged out over actual square miles of ground the teams of skinners spelling one another around the clock and the shooting and shooting weeks and months till the bore shot slick and the stock shot loose at the tang and their shoulders were yellow and blue to the elbow and the tandem wagons groaned away over the prairie twenty and twenty-two ox teams and the flint hides by the hundred ton and the meat rotting on the ground and the air whining with flies and the buzzards and ravens and the night a horror of snarling and feeding with the wolves half-crazed and wallowing in the carrion. I seen Studebaker wagons with six and eight ox teams headed out for the grounds not hauling a thing but lead. Just pure galena. Tons of it. On this ground alone between the Arkansas River and the Concho there were eight million carcasses for that's how many hides reached the railhead. Two years ago we pulled out from Griffin for a last hunt. We ransacked the country. Six weeks. Finally found a herd of eight animals and we killed them and come in. They're gone. Ever one of them that God ever made is gone as if they'd never been at all. The ragged sparks blew down the wind. The prairie about them lay silent. Beyond the fire it was cold and the night was clear and the stars were falling. The old hunter pulled his blanket about him. I wonder if there's other worlds like this, he said. Or if this is the only one.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West)
You and he were never ...you know. You were our best fighters. You bickered all the time, but you brought out the best in each other as warriors. Going into battle to you turned him on more than any woman could.' I give her a dubious look and she laughs.'Maybe a slight exaggeration, but he really did love it.' Her smiles fades.'And you and Jude were inseparable. That's why it made no sense that you would take the opposite side to either one of them - let alone both...It got worse after you and Jude disappeared last year. We thought he'd gone back to the Sanctuary to be with you. And when we heard you'd both dies...Honestly, I though Rafa was going to harm himself. He wouldn't talk to anyone for weeks. He drifted in and out of our operations, and then a few months ago he lost interest completely and stopped answering calls. We only know he was still alive because he's send Zak an occasional text. We he told Zak about the possibility you'd resurfaced there was no doubt he's come looking for you-' A fist bangs on the door. 'Gabe' Rafa barks. 'Your boyfriend's here. Get your arse into gear.' 'Yeah' I get to my feet. 'I'm the wind beneath his wings.
Paula Weston (Shadows (The Rephaim, #1))
Hold onto one thought: You're not important. You're not anything. Some day the load we're carrying with us may help someone. But even when we had the books on hand, a long time ago, we didn't use what we got out of them. We went right on insulting the dead. We went right on spitting in the graves of all the poor ones who died before us. We're going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we're doing, you can say, We're remembering. That's where we'll win out in the long run. And some day we'll remember so much that we'll build the biggest goddam steamshovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove war in and cover it up.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
But after all the years, her husband and children have come to accept that, once every few weeks, their usually warmhearted and approachable Camisha will get into her Honda Accord at the beginning of a seemingly random day, and disppear until well after supper, when she will return home and go directly to bed. Her family has learned never top ask her where she had been on such a day, because the most she will ever say is, "Out. I just went out for a bit." Also, they learned long ago never to express irritation or anger of any kind against Camisha, because when they do, her reaction is to become mute and exit to the garden, where for several hours she will sit cross-legged on a favourite flat stone, her back to the house. Slender, straight-backed, and unmoving, at these times she resembles nothing so much as an elegant ebony carving, exquisite but not quite alive. Watching her is almost unberable, and so is the guilt. Or if the weather is not suitable for the garden, she will simpily go to her bedroom and lock the door. Then as a matter of course, without comment during or after, her husband sleeps on the sofa in the den. In the morning, Camisha is usually her old self again, just as if nothing had happened.
Martha Stout (The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness)
Did he say anything to you?” “Just that I was supposed to watch you while he was gone. A hunt can take several days.” “Really? I had no idea it would take that long.” I hestitated, “So…he doesn’t mind you staying here while he’s gone.” “Oh, he minds,” he chuckled, “but he wants to make sure you’re safe. At least he trusts me that much.” “Well, I think he’s mad at both of us right now.” Kishan looked at me curiously with a raised eyebrow. “How so?” “Um…let’s just say we had a misunderstanding.” Kishan’s face turned hard. “Don’t worry, Kelsey. I’m sure that whatever he’s upset about is foolish. He’s very argumentative.” I sighed and shook my head sadly. “No, it’s really all my fault. I’m difficult, a hindrance, and I’m a pain to have around sometimes. He’s probably used to being around sophisticated, more experienced women who are much more…more…well, more than I am.” Kishan quirked an eyebrow. “Ren hasn’t been around any women as far as I know. I must confess that I’m now exceedingly curious as to what your argument was about. Whether you tell me or not, I won’t tolerate any more derogatory comments about yourself. He’s lucky to have you, and he’d better realize it.” He grinned. “Of course, if you did have a falling out, you’re always welcome to stay with me.” “Thanks for the offer, but I don’t really want to live in the jungle.” He laughed. “For you, I would even consider a change of residence. You, my lovely, are a prize worth fighting for.” I laughed and punched him lightly on the arm. “You, sir, are a major flirt. Worth fighting for? I think you two have been tigers for too long. I’m no great beauty, especially when I’m stuck out here in the jungle. I haven’t even picked a college major yet. What have I ever done that would make someone want to fight over me?” Kishan apparently took my rhetorical questions seriously. He reflected for a moment, and then answered, “For one thing, I’ve never met a woman so dedicated to helping others. You put your own life at risk for a person you met only a few weeks ago. You are confident, feisty, intelligent, and full of empathy. I find you charming and, yes, beautiful.” The golden-eyed prince fingered a strand of my hair. I blushed at his assessment, sipped my water, and then said softly, “I don’t like him being angry with me.” Kishan shrugged and dropped his hand, looking slightly annoyed that I’d steered the conversation back to Ren. “Yes. I’ve been on the receiving side of his anger, and I’ve learned not to underestimate his ability to hold a grudge.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Her stomach lurches. She fancies him sooo much - she is powerless to resist. How can she possibly? She knows it's wrong: he has a girlfriend - he lives with her, for goodness' sake - and what they're doing is unfair, cruel. She is not sure what he's said to his girlfriend to wangle a night away and she doesn't want to know. She would hate it if it was done to her - she has never seen herself as the kind of girl who would steal another woman's man. She and Anna have always been most disapproving about women who do that, arguing through college and beyond that there are plenty of available men out there, that it is quite unnecessary to go for those already spoken for. But she has liked Simon since day one, and he is the one who initiated this whole thing. He is the one who blew her away with a clandestine kiss just a week ago, who asked if he could come back and stay at hers afterwards; he is the one who doubtless made unconvincing excuses when he returned home the next day. And it only took that single night to open this Pandora's box of mutual passion, being together was far, far better than it should have been, were it only a one-night stand. Karen senses that he really likes her.
Sarah Rayner (One Moment, One Morning)
The echo of two boys playing in a pool testing each other to see who could hold their breath the longest. … Whadda ya wanna do now?— I know, we could wrestle like the Roman gladiators— Okay— What do we fight for?— Loser has to do the victor’s homework for a week— Nah, raise the stakes. Loser has to suck the victor’s johnny— Trenton recalled the long ago memory of two boys wrestling, butt naked in the back yard and the battle went on forever locked in each other’s grip. A stalemate tangle in each other’s arm. And they kissed finding each other’s tongue. The taste of it so good and frightening at the same time and they pulled apart fearfully— Deez— Yeah Trent— I don’t think we should tell anyone about this, okay? — Yeah okay—
Talon P.S. (Becoming His Slave (Dominion of Brothers, #1))
There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings. The town lay in the midst of a checkerboard of prosperous farms, with fields of grain and hillsides of orchards where, in spring, white clouds of bloom drifted above the green fields. In autumn, oak and maple and birch set up a blaze of color that flamed and flickered across a backdrop of pines. Then foxes barked in the hills and deer silently crossed the fields, half hidden in the mists of the fall mornings. Along the roads, laurel, viburnum, and alder, great ferns and wildflowers delighted the traveler's eye through much of the year. Even in winter the roadsides were places of beauty, where countless birds came to feed on the berries and on the seed heads of the dried weeds rising above the snow. The countryside was, in fact, famous for the abundance and variety of its bird life, and when the flood of migrants was pouring through in spring and fall people traveled from great distances to observe them. Others came to fish the streams, which flowed clear and cold out of the hills and contained shady pools where trout lay. So it had been from the days many years ago when the first settlers raised their homes, sank their wells, and built their barns. Then a strange blight crept over the area and everything began to change. Some evil spell had settled on the community: mysterious maladies swept the flocks of chickens, the cattle, and sheep sickened and died. Everywhere was a shadow of death. The farmers spoke of much illness among their families. In the town the doctors had become more and more puzzled by new kinds of sickness appearing among their patients. There had been sudden and unexplained deaths, not only among adults but even among children whoe would be stricken suddently while at play and die within a few hours. There was a strange stillness. The birds, for example--where had they gone? Many people spoke of them, puzzled and disturbed. The feeding stations in the backyards were deserted. The few birds seen anywhere were moribund; they trembled violently and could not fly. It was a spring without voices. On the mornings that had once throbbed with the dawn chorus of robins, catbirds, doves, jays, wrens, and scores of other bird voices there was no sound; only silence lay over the fields and woods and marsh. On the farms the hens brooded, but no chicks hatched. The farmers complained that they were unable to raise any pigs--the litters were small and the young survived only a few days. The apple trees were coming into bloom but no bees droned among the blossoms, so there was no pollination and there would be no fruit. The roadsides, once so attractive, were now lined with browned and withered vegetation as though swept by fire. These, too, were silent, deserted by all living things. Even the streams were not lifeless. Anglers no longer visited them, for all the fish had died. In the gutters under the eaves and between the shingles of the roofs, a white granular powder still showed a few patches; some weeks before it had fallen like snow upon the roofs and the lawns, the fields and streams. No witchcraft, no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of life in this stricken world. The people had done it to themselves.
Rachel Carson
I pulled the lever repeatedly not even paying attention to whether or not I was winning anything. Her voice startled me. “You look like you have something on your mind.” “I do?” “Who is he, and what did he do?” I’d never see this woman again after today. Maybe I should just let it all out. “You want the long version or the short version?” “I’m ninety, and the dinner buffet opens in five minutes. Give me the short version.” “Okay. I’m here with my stepbrother. Seven years ago, we slept together right before he moved away.” “Taboo…I like it. Go on.” I laughed. “Okay…well, he was the first and last guy I ever really cared about. I never thought I’d see him again. His father died this week, and he came back for the funeral. He wasn’t alone. He brought a girl he supposedly loves. I know she loves him. She’s a good person. She had to go back to California early. Somehow, I ended up at this casino with him. He leaves tomorrow.” A single teardrop fell down my face. “It looks to me like you still care about him.” “I do.” “Well, then you have twenty-four hours.” “No, I don’t plan to screw things up for him.” “Is he married?” “No.” “Then, you have twenty-four hours.” She looked at her watch and leaned on her walker to stand herself up. She gave me her hand. “I’m Evelyn.” “Hi, Evelyn. I’m Greta.” “Greta…fate gave you an opportunity. Don’t fuck it up,” she said before she scooted away on the walker.
Penelope Ward (Stepbrother Dearest)
Once, long ago, Francis Crawford had reduced her to terror and, the episode over, she had suffered to find that for Kate, apparently, no reason suggested itself against making that same Francis Crawford her friend. He was not Philippa’s friend. She had made that clear, and, to be fair, he had respected it. He had even, when you thought of it, curtailed his visits to Kate, although Kate’s studied lack of comment on this served only to make Philippa angrier. He had been nasty at Boghall. He had hit her at Liddel Keep. He had stopped her going anywhere for weeks. He had saved her life. That was indisputable. He had been effective over poor Trotty Luckup, while she had been pretty rude, and he hadn’t forced himself on her; and he had made her warm with his cloak. He had gone to Liddel Keep expressly to warn her, and when she had been pig-headed about leaving (Kate was right) he had done the only thing possible to make her. And then he had come to Flaw Valleys for nothing but to make sure of her safety, and he had been so tired that Kate had cried after he had gone. And then it had suddenly struck her, firmly and deeply in her shamefully flat chest, so that her heart thumped and her eyes filled with tears, that maybe she was wrong. Put together everything you knew of Francis Crawford. Put together what you had heard at Boghall and at Midculter, what you had seen at Flaw Valleys, and it all added up to one enormous, soul-crushing entity. She had been wrong. She did not understand him; she had never met anyone like him; she was only beginning to glimpse what Kate, poor maligned Kate, must have seen all these years under the talk. But the fact remained that he had gone out of his way to protect her, and she had put his life in jeopardy in return.
Dorothy Dunnett (The Disorderly Knights (The Lymond Chronicles, #3))
They couldn't talk. They were not good talkers, either of them. And once, long ago now, she had bought a notebook for a course. It lay empty and forgotten on the kitchen table until one afternoon, when she had gone out to the shops and he was worried that she would be killed by a bus or by lightning, he opened the notebook and he wrote lines about how he loved her, the way he loved her, about his fucking heart and crap like that, about his body brimful and his scrambled head. All that. She came back from the shops. He left the notebook where it was, and he didn't mention it. And it wasn't until about a week later that he noticed it again, and he flicked it open, and he saw his lines followed by lines from her. She'd written words that she had never said. He sat down. He read them over and over for a long time. Then he wrote a paragraph for her to find.
Keith Ridgway (Hawthorn & Child)
RubyMars: Have you heard anything else about when you’re leaving for good? AHall80: Not yet, but everything seems to be on schedule. Should be about 8 weeks. The longest 8 weeks of my life. RubyMars: I’m sure. AHall80: I want a shitty, greasy, deep dish pizza like you can’t imagine. I can already taste it. AHall80: A hot shower… a real bed… AC everywhere… RubyMars: Clean clothes? AHall80: Clean clothes. Clean socks. No sand. RubyMars: Clean underwear. RubyMars: No sand? I thought you were planning on going to the beach? AHall80: The beach is different. There’s water. It isn’t just desert and more desert. RubyMars: I guess that makes sense. RubyMars: My brother said once that his goal is to never see sand in his life again. AHall80: For real. RubyMars: What I didn’t finish saying was that he said that, but he’s gone to Cancun twice with his boyfriend, LOL. AHall80: It’s different. I’m over this sand shit. AHall80: Never again RubyMars: Does that mean you’re dead set on not re-enlisting? AHall80: … RubyMars: Whatever you want. I’m not judging. We don’t have to talk about it. AHall80: It’s not that I don’t want to talk about it… RubyMars: But you don’t want to talk about it. AHall80: :] Basically. RubyMars: I’ll change the subject then. RubyMars: Have you gone #2 lately? AHall80: Three days ago. RubyMars: Are you joking? AHall80: I wish. RubyMars: AARON AHall80: I know. I KNOW. RubyMars: Does it hurt? AHall80: Uh, when it comes out? RubyMars: Omg RubyMars: Aaron RubyMars: I meant your stomach. RubyMars: Does your stomach hurt? RubyMars: I can’t breathe RubyMars: Or type RubyMars: I didn’t mean your… rectum. RubyMars: Aaron? RubyMars: Aaron? RubyMars: Are you there? RubyMars: AARON? AHall80: You’re not the only one who couldn’t breathe or type. RubyMars: LMAO I’m crying. AHall80: me too AHall80: me too RubyMars: I mean… you can tell me if your butt hurts too, I guess. AHall80: Ruby, stop RubyMars: Seriously. You can tell me. I won’t judge. RubyMars: It happens. RubyMars: I think. AHall80: Stop RubyMars: I can’t breathe AHall80: I don’t know when the last time I laughed so hard was. AHall80: Everyone is looking at me wondering wtf happened. RubyMars: Your rectum happened AHall80: BYE RubyMars: I can’t stop laughing AHall80: You’re never hearing from me again RubyMars: There are tears coming out of my eyes. AHall80: Bye. I’ll write you again when I find my balls. RubyMars: It was nice knowing you. AHall80: BYE
Mariana Zapata (Dear Aaron)
You seem disappointed that I am not more responsive to your interest in "spiritual direction". Actually, I am more than a little ambivalent about the term, particularly in the ways it is being used so loosely without any sense of knowledge of the church's traditions in these matters. If by spiritual direction you mean entering into a friendship with another person in which an awareness and responsiveness to God's Spirit in the everydayness of your life is cultivated, fine. Then why call in an awkward term like "spiritual direction"? Why not just "friend"? Spiritual direction strikes me as pretentious in these circumstances, as if there were some expertise that can be acquired more or less on its own and then dispensed on demand. The other reason for my lack of enthusiasm is my well-founded fear of professionalism in any and all matters of the Christian life. Or maybe the right label for my fear is "functionalism". The moment an aspect of Christian living (human life, for that matter) is defined as a role, it is distorted, debased - and eventually destroyed. We are brothers and sisters with one another, friends and lovers, saints and sinners. The irony here is that the rise of interest in spiritual direction almost certainly comes from the proliferation of role-defined activism in our culture. We are sick and tired of being slotted into a function and then manipulated with Scripture and prayer to do what someone has decided (often with the help of some psychological testing) that we should be doing to bring glory to some religious enterprise or other. And so when people begin to show up who are interested in us just as we are - our souls - we are ready to be paid attention to in this prayerful, listening, non-manipulative, nonfunctional way. Spiritual direction. But then it begins to develop a culture and language and hierarchy all its own. It becomes first a special interest, and then a specialization. That is what seems to be happening in the circles you are frequenting. I seriously doubt that it is a healthy (holy) line to be pursuing. Instead, why don't you look over the congregation on Sundays and pick someone who appears to be mature and congenial. Ask her or him if you can meet together every month or so - you feel the need to talk about your life in the company of someone who believes that Jesus is present and active in everything you are doing. Reassure the person that he or she doesn't have to say anything "wise". You only want them to be there for you to listen and be prayerful in the listening. After three or four such meetings, write to me what has transpired, and we'll discuss it further. I've had a number of men and women who have served me in this way over the years - none carried the title "spiritual director", although that is what they have been. Some had never heard of such a term. When I moved to Canada a few years ago and had to leave a long-term relationship of this sort, I looked around for someone whom I could be with in this way. I picked a man whom I knew to be a person of integrity and prayer, with seasoned Christian wisdom in his bones. I anticipated that he would disqualify himself. So I pre-composed my rebuttal: "All I want you to do is two things: show up and shut up. Can you do that? Meet with me every six weeks or so, and just be there - an honest, prayerful presence with no responsibility to be anything other than what you have become in your obedient lifetime." And it worked. If that is what you mean by "spiritual director," okay. But I still prefer "friend". You can see now from my comments that my gut feeling is that the most mature and reliable Christian guidance and understanding comes out of the most immediate and local of settings. The ordinary way. We have to break this cultural habit of sending out for an expert every time we feel we need some assistance. Wisdom is not a matter of expertise. The peace of the Lord, Eugene
Eugene H. Peterson (The Wisdom of Each Other)
fourteen-year-olds club!” He held out his hand for a high five. Sophie was too stunned to return it. “Please try not to stress, Miss Foster. Nothing has actually changed. You’re the exact same girl you were a few minutes ago. You’re simply learning the proper way of counting.” She knew he was right—but it felt so much huger than that. Especially when Biana said, “Huh, so you’re older than me.” Based on their IDs, Biana was a little more than thirteen-and-a-half. Dex was also thirteen, but he would be fourteen in a few weeks. Keefe was less than a month away from turning fifteen, and Fitz was about two months away from turning sixteen. “So, you’re kind of in the middle,” Dex said. “But you and I are still the closest in age.” He was right—though now she was six months older than him. And the gap between her and Keefe and Fitz had narrowed significantly. “Wait—was I in the wrong level in Foxfire?” Sophie asked. “Your age falls in the middle of the grade level brackets,” Mr. Forkle said. So you could’ve started as a Level Two just as easily as a Level Three. And given how behind you
Shannon Messenger (Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #4))
I turn and walk back to the home shore whose tall yellow bluffs still bare of snow I can see nearly half a mile to the north. I find my way as I came, over dusty sandbars and by old channels, through shrubby stands of willows. The cold, late afternoon sun breaks through its cloud cover and streaks the grey sand mixed with snow. As it has fallen steadily in the past weeks, the river has left behind many shallow pools, and these are now roofed with ice. When I am close to the main shore I come upon one of them, not far from the wooded bank. The light snow that fell a few days ago has blown away; the ice is polished and is thick enough to stand on. I can see to the bottom without difficulty, as through heavy dark glass. I bend over, looking at the debris caught there in the clear, black depth of the ice: I see a few small sticks, and many leaves. There are alder leaves, roughly toothed and still half green; the more delicate birch leaves and aspen leaves, the big, smooth poplar leaves, and narrow leaves from the willows. They are massed or scattered, as they fell quietly or as the wind blew them into the freezing water. Some of them are still fresh in color, glowing yellow and orange; others are mottled with grey and brown. A few older leaves lie sunken and black on the silty bottom. Here and there a pebble of quartz is gleaming. But nothing moves there. It is a still, cold world, something like night, with its own fixed planets and stars.
John Meade Haines (The Stars, the Snow, the Fire: Twenty-Five Years in the Alaska Wilderness)
When I took it off, I glanced in the mirror behind the dresser, and I nearly screamed when I saw the reflection. Finn was sitting behind me on the bed. His eyes, dark as night, met mine in the mirror, and I could hardly breathe. "Finn!" I gasped and whirled around to look at him. "What are you doing here?" "I missed your birthday," he said, as if that answered my question. He lowered his eyes, looking at a small box he had in his hands. "I got you something." "You got me something?" I leaned back on the dresser behind me, gripping it. "Yeah." He nodded, still staring down at the box. "I picked it up outside of Portland two weeks ago. I meant to get back in time to give it to you on your birthday." He chewed the inside of his cheek. "But now that I'm here, I'm not sure I should give it to you at all." "What are you talking about?" I asked. "It doesn't feel right." Finn rubbed his face. "I don't even know what I'm doing here." "Neither do I," I said. "Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to see you. I just...I don't understand." "I know." He sighed. "It's a ring. What I got you." His gaze moved from me to the engagement ring sitting on the dresser beside me. "And you already have one." "Why did you get me a ring?" I asked tentatively, and my heart beat erratically in my chest. I didn't know what Finn was saying or doing. "I'm not proposing to you, if that's what you're asking." He shook his head. "I saw it and thought of you. But now it seems like poor taste. And here I am, the night before your wedding sneaking in to give you a ring." "Why did you sneak in?" I asked. "I don't know." He looked away and laughed darkly. "That's a lie. I know exactly what I'm doing, but I have no idea why I'm doing it." "What are you doing?" I asked quietly. "I..." Finn stared off for a moment, then turned back to me and stood up. "Finn, I-" I began, but he held up his hand, stopping me. "No, I know you're marrying Tove," he said. "You need to do this. We both know that. It's what's best for you, and it's what I want for you." He paused. "But I want you for myself too." All I'd ever wanted from Finn was for him to admit how he felt about me, and he'd waited until the day before my wedding. It was too late to change anything, to take anything back. Not that I could have, even if I wanted to. "Why are you telling me this?" I asked with tears swimming in my eyes. "Because." Finn stepped toward me, stopping right in front of me. He looked down at me, his eyes mesmerizing me the way they always did. He reached up, brushing back a tear from my cheek. "Why?" I asked, my voice trembling. "I needed you to know," he said, as if he didn't truly understand it himself. He set the box on the dresser beside me, and his hand went to my waist, pulling me to him. I let go of the dresser and let him. My breath came out shallow as I stared up at him. "Tomorrow you will belong to someone else," Finn said. "But tonight, you're with me.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
Luz leaned her head against the window. The bus was already on the outskirts of Mexico City and the endless urban landscape had never seemed so gray and or so harsh. Most of the city was nothing like the old money enclave of Lomas Virreyes where the Vegas lived or Polanco where the city’s most expensive restaurants and clubs catered to the wealthy. The bus passed block after block of sooty concrete cut into houses and shops and shanties and parking garages and mercados and schools and more shanties where people lived surrounded by hulks of old cars and plastic things no one bothered to throw away. Sometimes there wasn’t concrete for homes, just sheets of corrugated metal and big pieces of cardboard that would last until the next rainy season. It was the detritus of millions upon millions of people who had nowhere to go and nothing to do and were angry about it. The Reforma newspaper had reported a few weeks ago that the city’s population was in excess of 28 million--more than 25 percent of the country’s entire population--and Luz believed it. All of those people were clawing at each other in a huge fishbowl suspended 7500 feet above sea level, where there was never enough oxygen and the air was thin and dirty. The city was hemmed in by mountains on all sides; mountains like Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl that sometimes spewed smoke and ash and prevented the contaminatión from cars and factories and sewers from escaping. Luz privately thought of it as la sopa--a white soup that often blotted out the stars and prevented the night sky from getting dark. The bus slowed in traffic. As they crept along Luz saw a car stopped on the side of the road, pulled over by a transito traffic cop. As Luz watched, the driver handed the cop a peso bill from his wallet. The transito accepted it but kept talking, gesturing at the car. The motorist handed him another bill. La mordida--the bite--of the traffic cop, right under her nose. Los Hierros was crap.
Carmen Amato (The Hidden Light of Mexico City)
New Rule: Not everything in America has to make a profit. If conservatives get to call universal health care "socialized medicine," I get to call private, for-profit health care "soulless vampire bastards making money off human pain." Now, I know what you're thinking: "But, Bill, the profit motive is what sustains capitalism." Yes, and our sex drive is what sustains the human species, but we don't try to fuck everything. It wasn't that long ago when a kid in America broke his leg, his parents took him to the local Catholic hospital, the nun stuck a thermometer in his ass, the doctor slapped some plaster on his ankle, and you were done. The bill was $1.50; plus, you got to keep the thermometer. But like everything else that's good and noble in life, some bean counter decided that hospitals could be big business, so now they're not hospitals anymore; they're Jiffy Lubes with bedpans. The more people who get sick, and stay sick, the higher their profit margins, which is why they're always pushing the Jell-O. Did you know that the United States is ranked fiftieth in the world in life expectancy? And the forty-nine loser countries were they live longer than us? Oh, it's hardly worth it, they may live longer, but they live shackled to the tyranny of nonprofit health care. Here in America, you're not coughing up blood, little Bobby, you're coughing up freedom. The problem with President Obama's health-care plan isn't socialism. It's capitalism. When did the profit motive become the only reason to do anything? When did that become the new patriotism? Ask not what you could do for your country, ask what's in it for Blue Cross Blue Shield. And it's not just medicine--prisons also used to be a nonprofit business, and for good reason--who the hell wants to own a prison? By definition, you're going to have trouble with the tenants. It's not a coincidence that we outsourced running prisons to private corporations and then the number of prisoners in America skyrocketed. There used to be some things we just didn't do for money. Did you know, for example, there was a time when being called a "war profiteer" was a bad thing? FDR said he didn't want World War II to create one millionaire, but I'm guessing Iraq has made more than a few executives at Halliburton into millionaires. Halliburton sold soldiers soda for $7.50 a can. They were honoring 9/11 by charging like 7-Eleven. Which is wrong. We're Americans; we don't fight wars for money. We fight them for oil. And my final example of the profit motive screwing something up that used to be good when it was nonprofit: TV news. I heard all the news anchors this week talk about how much better the news coverage was back in Cronkite's day. And I thought, "Gee, if only you were in a position to do something about it.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Fine, fuck it," Clay said, tossing the plate into the yard. The chicken parts bounced nicely, breading themselves with a light coating of sand, ants, and dried grass. "When did chicken become like plutonium anyway, for Christ's sake? You can't let it touch you or it's certain fucking death. And eggs and hamburgers kill you unless you cook them to the consistency of limestone! And if you turn on your fucking cell phone, the plane is going to plunge out of the sky in a ball of flames? And kids can't take a dump anymore but they have to have a helmet and pads on make them look like the Road Warrior. Right? Right? What the fuck happened to the world? When did everything get so goddamn deadly? Huh? I've been going to sea for thirty damned years, and nothing's killed me. I've swum with everything that can bite, sting, or eat you, and I've done every stupid thing at depth that any human can -- and I'm still alive. Fuck, Clair, I was unconscious for an hour underwater less than a week ago, and it didn't kill me. Now you're going to tell me that I'm going to get whacked by a fucking chicken leg? Well, just fuck it then!
Christopher Moore (Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings)
So where did you go, Holly?” Rafiq never tires of this conversation, no matter how often we do it. “Everywhere,” says Lorelei, being brave and selfless. “Colombia, Australia, China, Iceland, Old New York. Didn’t you, Gran?” “I did, yes.” I wonder what life in Cartagena, in Perth, in Shanghai is like now. Ten years ago I could have streetviewed the cities, but the Net’s so torn and ragged now that even when we have reception it runs at prebroadband speed. My tab’s getting old, too, and I only have one more in storage. If any arrive via Ringaskiddy Concession, they never make it out of Cork City. I remember the pictures of seawater flooding Fremantle during the deluge of ’33. Or was it the deluge of ’37? Or am I confusing it with pictures of the sea sluicing into the New York subway, when five thousand people drowned underground? Or was that Athens? Or Mumbai? Footage of catastrophes flowed so thick and fast through the thirties that it was hard to keep track of which coastal region had been devastated this week, or which city had been decimated by Ebola or Ratflu. The news turned into a plotless never-ending disaster movie I could hardly bring myself to watch.
David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks)
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago--never mind how long precisely--having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me. There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs--commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you waterward. Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there. Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall, northward. What do you see?--Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep. But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster--tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks. How then is this? Are the green fields gone? What do they here? But look! here come more crowds, pacing straight for the water, and seemingly bound for a dive. Strange! Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice. No. They must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling in. And there they stand--miles of them--leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes and alleys, streets and avenues--north, east, south, and west. Yet here they all unite. Tell me, does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them thither? Once more. Say you are in the country; in some high land of lakes. Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries--stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
From the end of the World War twenty-one years ago, this country, like many others, went through a phase of having large groups of people carried away by some emotion--some alluring, attractive, even speciously inspiring, public presentation of a nostrum, a cure-all. Many Americans lost their heads because several plausible fellows lost theirs in expounding schemes to end barbarity, to give weekly handouts to people, to give everybody a better job--or, more modestly, for example, to put a chicken or two in every pot--all by adoption of some new financial plan or some new social system. And all of them burst like bubbles. Some proponents of nostrums were honest and sincere, others--too many of them--were seekers of personal power; still others saw a chance to get rich on the dimes and quarters of the poorer people in our population. All of them, perhaps unconsciously, were capitalizing on the fact that the democratic form of Government works slowly. There always exists in a democratic society a large group which, quite naturally, champs at the bit over the slowness of democracy; and that is why it is right for us who believe in democracy to keep the democratic processes progressive--in other words, moving forward with the advances in civilization. That is why it is dangerous for democracy to stop moving forward because any period of stagnation increases the numbers of those who demand action and action now.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Dear Jessa, I’ve started this letter so many times and I’ve never been able to finish it. So here goes again . . . I’m sorry. I’m sorry that Riley is dead. I’m sorry for ignoring your emails and for not being there for you. I’m sorry I’ve hurt you. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish it had been me that died and not Riley. If I could go back in time and change everything I would. I’m sorry I left without a word. There’s no excuse for my behaviour but please know that it had nothing to do with you. I was a mess. I haven’t been able to talk to anyone for months. And I felt too guilty and didn’t know how to tell you the truth about what happened. I couldn’t bear the thought of you knowing. I got all your emails but I didn’t read them until last week. I couldn’t face it and I guess that makes me the biggest coward you’ll ever meet. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I never replied. You needed me and I wasn’t there for you. I don’t even know how to ask your forgiveness because I don’t deserve it. I’m just glad you’re doing better. I’m better too. I’ve started seeing a therapist – twice a week – you’d like her. She reminds me of Didi. I never thought I’d be the kind of guy who needed therapy, but they made it a condition of me keeping my job. She’s helped me a lot with getting the panic attacks under control. Working in a room the size of a janitor’s closet helps too – there aren’t too many surprises, only the occasional rogue paperclip. I asked for the posting. I have to thank your dad ironically. The demotion worked out. Kind of funny that I totally get where your father was coming from all those years. Looks like I’ll be spending the remainder of my marine career behind a desk, but I’m OK with that. I don’t know what else to say, Jessa. My therapist says I should just write down whatever comes into my head. So here goes. Here’s what’s in my head . . . I miss you. I love you. Even though I long ago gave up the right to any sort of claim over you, I can’t stop loving you. I won’t ever stop. You’re in my blood. You’re the only thing that got me through this, Jessa. Because even during the bad times, the worst times, the times I’d wake up in a cold sweat, my heart thumping, the times I’d think the only way out was by killing myself and just having it all go away, I’d think of you and it would pull me back out of whatever dark place I’d fallen into. You’re my light, Jessa. My north star. You asked me once to come back to you and I told you I always would. I’m working on it. It might take me a little while, and I know I have no right to ask you to wait for me after everything I’ve done, but I’m going to anyway because the truth is I don’t know how to live without you. I’ve tried and I can’t do it. So please, I’m asking you to wait for me. I’m going to come back to you. I promise. And I’m going to make things right. I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll never stop trying for the rest of my life to make things right between us. I love you. Always. Kit
Mila Gray (Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me, #1))
There's not much to say about loneliness, for it's not a broad subject. Any child, alone in her room, can journey across its entire breadth, from border to border, in an hour. Though not broad, our subject is deep. Loneliness is deeper than the ocean. But here, too, there is no mystery. Our intrepid child is liable to fall quickly to the very bottom without even trying. And since the depths of loneliness cannot sustain human life, the child will swim to the surface again in short order, no worse for wear. Some of us, though, can bring breathing aids down with us for longer stays: imaginary friends, drugs and alcohol, mind-numbing entertainment, hobbies, ironclad routine, and pets. (Pets are some of the best enablers of loneliness, your own cuddlesome Murphy notwithstanding.) With the help of these aids, a poor sap can survive the airless depths of loneliness long enough to experience its true horror -- duration. Did you know, Myren Vole, that when presented with the same odor (even my own) for a duration of only several minutes, the olfactory nerves become habituated -- as my daughter used to say -- to it and cease transmitting its signal to the brain? Likewise, most pain loses its edge in time. Time heals all -- as they say. Even the loss of a loved one, perhaps life's most wrenching pain, is blunted in time. It recedes into the background where it can be borne with lesser pains. Not so our friend loneliness, which grows only more keen and insistent with each passing hour. Loneliness is as needle sharp now as it was an hour ago, or last week. But if loneliness is the wound, what's so secret about it? I submit to you, Myren Vole, that the most painful death of all is suffocation by loneliness. And by the time I started on my portrait of Jean, I was ten years into it (with another five to go). It is from that vantage point that I tell you that loneliness itself is the secret. It's a secret you cannot tell anyone. Why? Because to confess your loneliness is to confess your failure as a human being. To confess would only cause others to pity and avoid you, afraid that what you have is catching. Your condition is caused by a lack of human relationship, and yet to admit to it only drives your possible rescuers farther away (while attracting cats). So you attempt to hide your loneliness in public, to behave, in fact, as though you have too many friends already, and thus you hope to attract people who will unwittingly save you. But it never works that way. Your condition is written all over your face, in the hunch of your shoulders, in the hollowness of your laugh. You fool no one. Believe me in this; I've tried all the tricks of the lonely man.
David Marusek (Counting Heads (Counting Heads, #1))
I resolved to come right to the point. "Hello," I said as coldly as possible, "we've got to talk." "Yes, Bob," he said quietly, "what's on your mind?" I shut my eyes for a moment, letting the raging frustration well up inside, then stared angrily at the psychiatrist. "Look, I've been religious about this recovery business. I go to AA meetings daily and to your sessions twice a week. I know it's good that I've stopped drinking. But every other aspect of my life feels the same as it did before. No, it's worse. I hate my life. I hate myself." Suddenly I felt a slight warmth in my face, blinked my eyes a bit, and then stared at him. "Bob, I'm afraid our time's up," Smith said in a matter-of-fact style. "Time's up?" I exclaimed. "I just got here." "No." He shook his head, glancing at his clock. "It's been fifty minutes. You don't remember anything?" "I remember everything. I was just telling you that these sessions don't seem to be working for me." Smith paused to choose his words very carefully. "Do you know a very angry boy named 'Tommy'?" "No," I said in bewilderment, "except for my cousin Tommy whom I haven't seen in twenty years..." "No." He stopped me short. "This Tommy's not your cousin. I spent this last fifty minutes talking with another Tommy. He's full of anger. And he's inside of you." "You're kidding?" "No, I'm not. Look. I want to take a little time to think over what happened today. And don't worry about this. I'll set up an emergency session with you tomorrow. We'll deal with it then." Robert This is Robert speaking. Today I'm the only personality who is strongly visible inside and outside. My own term for such an MPD role is dominant personality. Fifteen years ago, I rarely appeared on the outside, though I had considerable influence on the inside; back then, I was what one might call a "recessive personality." My passage from "recessive" to "dominant" is a key part of our story; be patient, you'll learn lots more about me later on. Indeed, since you will meet all eleven personalities who once roamed about, it gets a bit complex in the first half of this book; but don't worry, you don't have to remember them all, and it gets sorted out in the last half of the book. You may be wondering -- if not "Robert," who, then, was the dominant MPD personality back in the 1980s and earlier? His name was "Bob," and his dominance amounted to a long reign, from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. Since "Robert B. Oxnam" was born in 1942, you can see that "Bob" was in command from early to middle adulthood. Although he was the dominant MPD personality for thirty years, Bob did not have a clue that he was afflicted by multiple personality disorder until 1990, the very last year of his dominance. That was the fateful moment when Bob first heard that he had an "angry boy named Tommy" inside of him. How, you might ask, can someone have MPD for half a lifetime without knowing it? And even if he didn't know it, didn't others around him spot it? To outsiders, this is one of the most perplexing aspects of MPD. Multiple personality is an extreme disorder, and yet it can go undetected for decades, by the patient, by family and close friends, even by trained therapists. Part of the explanation is the very nature of the disorder itself: MPD thrives on secrecy because the dissociative individual is repressing a terrible inner secret. The MPD individual becomes so skilled in hiding from himself that he becomes a specialist, often unknowingly, in hiding from others. Part of the explanation is rooted in outside observers: MPD often manifests itself in other behaviors, frequently addiction and emotional outbursts, which are wrongly seen as the "real problem." The fact of the matter is that Bob did not see himself as the dominant personality inside Robert B. Oxnam. Instead, he saw himself as a whole person. In his mind, Bob was merely a nickname for Bob Oxnam, Robert Oxnam, Dr. Robert B. Oxnam, PhD.
Robert B. Oxnam (A Fractured Mind: My Life with Multiple Personality Disorder)
PROLOGUE   Zoey “Wow, Z, this is a seriously awesome turnout. There are more humans here than fleas on an old dog!” Stevie Rae shielded her eyes with her hand as she looked around at the newly lit-up campus. Dallas was a total jerk, but we all admitted that the twinkling lights he’d wrapped around the trunks and limbs of the old oaks gave the entire campus a magickal, fairy-like glow. “That is one of your more disgusting bumpkin analogies,” Aphrodite said. “Though it’s accurate. Especially since there are a bunch of city politicians here. Total parasites.” “Try to be nice,” I said. “Or at least try to be quiet.” “Does that mean your daddy, the mayor, is here?” Stevie Rae’s already gawking eyes got even wider. “I suppose it does. I caught a glimpse of Cruella De Vil, a.k.a. She Who Bore Me, not long ago.” Aphrodite paused and her brows went up. “We should probably keep an eye on the Street Cats kittens. I saw some cute little black and white ones with especially fluffy fur.” Stevie Rae sucked air. “Ohmygoodness, your mamma wouldn’t really make a kitten fur coat, would she?” “Faster than you can say Bubba’s drinkin’ and drivin’ again,” Aphrodite mimicked Stevie Rae’s Okie twang. “Stevie Rae—she’s kidding. Tell her the truth,” I nudged Aphrodite. “Fine. She doesn’t skin kittens. Or puppies. Just baby seals and democrats.” Stevie Rae’s brow furrowed. “See, everything is fine. Plus, Damien’s at the Street Cats booth, and you know he’d never let one little kitten whisker be hurt—let alone a whole coat,” I assured my BFF, refusing to let Aphrodite mess up our good mood. “Actually, everything is more than fine. Check out what we managed to pull off in a little over a week.” I sighed in relief at the success of our event and let my gaze wander around the packed school grounds. Stevie Rae, Shaylin, Shaunee, Aphrodite, and I were manning the bake sale booth (while Stevie Rae’s mom and a bunch of her PTA friends moved through the crowd with samples of the chocolate chip cookies we were selling, like, zillions of). From our position near Nyx’s statue, we had a great view of the whole campus. I could see a long line at Grandma’s lavender booth. That made me smile. Not far from Grandma, Thanatos had set up a job application area, and there were a bunch of humans filling out paperwork there. In the center of the grounds there were two huge silver and white tents draped with more of Dallas’s twinkling lights. In one tent Stark and Darius and the Sons of Erebus Warriors were demonstrating weaponry. I watched as Stark was showing a young boy how to hold a bow. Stark’s gaze lifted from the kid and met mine. We shared a quick, intimate smile
P.C. Cast (Revealed (House of Night #11))
In every interview I’m asked what’s the most important quality a novelist has to have. It’s pretty obvious: talent. Now matter how much enthusiasm and effort you put into writing, if you totally lack literary talent you can forget about being a novelist. This is more of a prerequisite than a necessary quality. If you don’t have any fuel, even the best car won’t run.The problem with talent, though, is that in most cases the person involved can’t control its amount or quality. You might find the amount isn’t enough and you want to increase it, or you might try to be frugal and make it last longer, but in neither case do things work out that easily. Talent has a mind of its own and wells up when it wants to, and once it dries up, that’s it. Of course, certain poets and rock singers whose genius went out in a blaze of glory—people like Schubert and Mozart, whose dramatic early deaths turned them into legends—have a certain appeal, but for the vast majority of us this isn’t the model we follow. If I’m asked what the next most important quality is for a novelist, that’s easy too: focus—the ability to concentrate all your limited talents on whatever’s critical at the moment. Without that you can’t accomplish anything of value, while, if you can focus effectively, you’ll be able to compensate for an erratic talent or even a shortage of it. I generally concentrate on work for three or four hours every morning. I sit at my desk and focus totally on what I’m writing. I don’t see anything else, I don’t think about anything else. … After focus, the next most important thing for a novelist is, hands down, endurance. If you concentrate on writing three or four hours a day and feel tired after a week of this, you’re not going to be able to write a long work. What’s needed of the writer of fiction—at least one who hopes to write a novel—is the energy to focus every day for half a year, or a year, or two years. … Fortunately, these two disciplines—focus and endurance—are different from talent, since they can be acquired and sharpened through training. You’ll naturally learn both concentration and endurance when you sit down every day at your desk and train yourself to focus on one point. This is a lot like the training of muscles I wrote of a moment ago. You have to continually transmit the object of your focus to your entire body, and make sure it thoroughly assimilates the information necessary for you to write every single day and concentrate on the work at hand. And gradually you’ll expand the limits of what you’re able to do. Almost imperceptibly you’ll make the bar rise. This involves the same process as jogging every day to strengthen your muscles and develop a runner’s physique. Add a stimulus and keep it up. And repeat. Patience is a must in this process, but I guarantee results will come. In private correspondence the great mystery writer Raymond Chandler once confessed that even if he didn’t write anything, he made sure he sat down at his desk every single day and concentrated. I understand the purpose behind his doing this. This is the way Chandler gave himself the physical stamina a professional writer needs, quietly strengthening his willpower. This sort of daily training was indispensable to him. … Most of what I know about writing I’ve learned through running every day. These are practical, physical lessons. How much can I push myself? How much rest is appropriate—and how much is too much? How far can I take something and still keep it decent and consistent? When does it become narrow-minded and inflexible? How much should I be aware of the world outside, and how much should I focus on my inner world? To what extent should I be confident in my abilities, and when should I start doubting myself? I know that if I hadn’t become a long-distance runner when I became a novelist, my work would have been vastly different. How different? Hard to say. But something would definitely have been different.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)