When I First Talked To You Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to When I First Talked To You. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Falling in love is very real, but I used to shake my head when people talked about soul mates, poor deluded individuals grasping at some supernatural ideal not intended for mortals but sounded pretty in a poetry book. Then, we met, and everything changed, the cynic has become the converted, the sceptic, an ardent zealot.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don't got nothing much to say. About anything. "Need a poo, Todd." "Shutup, Manchee." "Poo. Poo, Todd." "I said shut it.
Patrick Ness (The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1))
Hair the color of lemons,'" Rudy read. His fingers touched the words. "You told him about me?" At first, Liesel could not talk. Perhaps it was the sudden bumpiness of love she felt for him. Or had she always loved him? It's likely. Restricted as she was from speaking, she wanted him to kiss her. She wanted him to drag her hand across and pull her over. It didn't matter where. Her mouth, her neck, her cheek. Her skin was empty for it, waiting. Years ago, when they'd raced on a muddy field, Rudy was a hastily assembled set of bones, with a jagged, rocky smile. In the trees this afternoon, he was a giver of bread and teddy bears. He was a triple Hitler Youth athletics champion. He was her best friend. And he was a month from his death. Of course I told him about you," Liesel said.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
There was a time when I thought I loved my first wife more than life itself. But now I hate her guts. I do. How do you explain that? What happened to that love? What happened to it, is what I'd like to know. I wish someone could tell me.
Raymond Carver (What We Talk About When We Talk About Love)
No matter how old you are now. You are never too young or too old for success or going after what you want. Here’s a short list of people who accomplished great things at different ages 1) Helen Keller, at the age of 19 months, became deaf and blind. But that didn’t stop her. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. 2) Mozart was already competent on keyboard and violin; he composed from the age of 5. 3) Shirley Temple was 6 when she became a movie star on “Bright Eyes.” 4) Anne Frank was 12 when she wrote the diary of Anne Frank. 5) Magnus Carlsen became a chess Grandmaster at the age of 13. 6) Nadia Comăneci was a gymnast from Romania that scored seven perfect 10.0 and won three gold medals at the Olympics at age 14. 7) Tenzin Gyatso was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama in November 1950, at the age of 15. 8) Pele, a soccer superstar, was 17 years old when he won the world cup in 1958 with Brazil. 9) Elvis was a superstar by age 19. 10) John Lennon was 20 years and Paul Mcartney was 18 when the Beatles had their first concert in 1961. 11) Jesse Owens was 22 when he won 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936. 12) Beethoven was a piano virtuoso by age 23 13) Issac Newton wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica at age 24 14) Roger Bannister was 25 when he broke the 4 minute mile record 15) Albert Einstein was 26 when he wrote the theory of relativity 16) Lance E. Armstrong was 27 when he won the tour de France 17) Michelangelo created two of the greatest sculptures “David” and “Pieta” by age 28 18) Alexander the Great, by age 29, had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world 19) J.K. Rowling was 30 years old when she finished the first manuscript of Harry Potter 20) Amelia Earhart was 31 years old when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean 21) Oprah was 32 when she started her talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind 22) Edmund Hillary was 33 when he became the first man to reach Mount Everest 23) Martin Luther King Jr. was 34 when he wrote the speech “I Have a Dream." 24) Marie Curie was 35 years old when she got nominated for a Nobel Prize in Physics 25) The Wright brothers, Orville (32) and Wilbur (36) invented and built the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight 26) Vincent Van Gogh was 37 when he died virtually unknown, yet his paintings today are worth millions. 27) Neil Armstrong was 38 when he became the first man to set foot on the moon. 28) Mark Twain was 40 when he wrote "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", and 49 years old when he wrote "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" 29) Christopher Columbus was 41 when he discovered the Americas 30) Rosa Parks was 42 when she refused to obey the bus driver’s order to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger 31) John F. Kennedy was 43 years old when he became President of the United States 32) Henry Ford Was 45 when the Ford T came out. 33) Suzanne Collins was 46 when she wrote "The Hunger Games" 34) Charles Darwin was 50 years old when his book On the Origin of Species came out. 35) Leonardo Da Vinci was 51 years old when he painted the Mona Lisa. 36) Abraham Lincoln was 52 when he became president. 37) Ray Kroc Was 53 when he bought the McDonalds Franchise and took it to unprecedented levels. 38) Dr. Seuss was 54 when he wrote "The Cat in the Hat". 40) Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III was 57 years old when he successfully ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009. All of the 155 passengers aboard the aircraft survived 41) Colonel Harland Sanders was 61 when he started the KFC Franchise 42) J.R.R Tolkien was 62 when the Lord of the Ring books came out 43) Ronald Reagan was 69 when he became President of the US 44) Jack Lalane at age 70 handcuffed, shackled, towed 70 rowboats 45) Nelson Mandela was 76 when he became President
Pablo
Talk. We are going to talk first. I want to see you smile and laugh. I want to know what your favorite show was when you were a kid and who made you cry at school and what boy band you hung posters of on your wall. Then I want you naked in my bed again.
Abbi Glines (Fallen Too Far (Rosemary Beach, #1; Too Far, #1))
We can't lose you," she said after a few moments of awkward as hell silence. "You have to understand that we aren't doing this because we don't care about Kat. We're doing this because we love you." "But I love her," I said without hesitation. Dee's eyes widened, probably since it was the first time she'd herd me say it out loud, well, about anyone other than my family. I wished I had said it more often, especially to Kat. Funny how that kind of shit always turns out in the end. While you're deep in something, you never say or do what you need to. It's always after the fact, when it's too late that you realize what you've should've said or done/ It couldn't be too late. I knew that. The fact that I was still alive was testament to that. Like Dee said, though, there were worse things than death.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Origin (Lux, #4))
This hand says you spend the rest of your life with me," he said, holding out his left hand, "and this one says I spend the rest of my life with you. Choose." She bit her lip, tears welling in her eyes. She took both of his hands in hers and he shuddered. "I will die protecting you," he says. There was a look of dismay on her face. "Just like a man of this kingdom, Finnikin. Talking of death, yours or mine, is not a good way to begin a-" Isaboe gave a small gasp when he leaned forward, his lips an inch away from hers. "I will die for you," he whispered. She cupped his face in her hands. "But promise me you'll live first. Because nothing we are about to do is going to be easy and I need you by my side.
Melina Marchetta (Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1))
I... There was a time when I stopped talking. Just like you. My reasons were a little bit different, but I think the feelings of being ashamed of myself and hating myself are the same. Here, it says to "like yourself." What does that mean? Good things- how are you supposed to find them? I only know things that I hate about myself. Because that's all I know, I hate myself. But even if you force yourself to find good things, it feels so empty. It doesn't work that way. People like your teacher just don't get it. I think when you hear someone say they like you, for the first time, then you can begin to like yourself. I think when someone accepts you, for the first time, you feel like you can forgive yourself a little. You can begin to face your fears with courage.
Natsuki Takaya
You’re okay," Zane said quietly but clearly. "Just focus on me for a few minutes. What’s the first thing that comes to mind?" While talking, he was gently wiping away the blood. Ty blinked at him, opening his mouth as he thought the very first thing that came to mind when Zane prompted him. I love you. He snapped his mouth closed and stared at Zane, unable and unwilling to answer.
Abigail Roux (Sticks & Stones (Cut & Run, #2))
All this, all of this love we're talking about, it would just be a memory. Maybe not even a memory. Am I wrong? Am I way off base? Because I want you to set me straight if you think I'm wrong. I want to know. I mean, I don't know anything, and I'm the first one to admit it.
Raymond Carver (What We Talk About When We Talk About Love)
And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don't listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you're sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the tv programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you're late and be amazed when you're early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I'm black and be sorry when I'm wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I'd known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you're angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you're gorgeous and hug you when you're anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I'm next to you and whimper when I'm not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don't and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I'm rejecting you when I'm not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I'd ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don't believe me and have a feeling so deep I can't find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I'd get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don't want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don't mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it's empty without you and want what you want and think I'm losing myself but know I'm safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don't deserve any less and answer your questions when I'd rather not and tell you the truth when I really don't want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it's all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it's beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.
Sarah Kane (Crave)
The question is frequently asked: Why does a man become a drug addict? The answer is that he usually does not intend to become an addict. You don’t wake up one morning and decide to be a drug addict. It takes at least three months’ shooting twice a day to get any habit at all. And you don’t really know what junk sickness is until you have had several habits. It took me almost six months to get my first habit, and then the withdrawal symptoms were mild. I think it no exaggeration to say it takes about a year and several hundred injections to make an addict. The questions, of course, could be asked: Why did you ever try narcotics? Why did you continue using it long enough to become an addict? You become a narcotics addict because you do not have strong motivations in the other direction. Junk wins by default. I tried it as a matter of curiosity. I drifted along taking shots when I could score. I ended up hooked. Most addicts I have talked to report a similar experience. They did not start using drugs for any reason they can remember. They just drifted along until they got hooked. If you have never been addicted, you can have no clear idea what it means to need junk with the addict’s special need. You don’t decide to be an addict. One morning you wake up sick and you’re an addict. (Junky, Prologue, p. xxxviii)
William S. Burroughs (Junky)
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word home means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name just by the way you describe your bedroom when you were eight. See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate, and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms or would leave your snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek? Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad even if it makes your lover mad? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name, and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old beating up little boys at school. If you were walking by a chemical plant where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud or would you whisper “That cloud looks like a fish, and that cloud looks like a fairy!” Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me — how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? See, I wanna know if you believe in any god or if you believe in many gods or better yet what gods believe in you. And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you asked come true? And if they didn’t, did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? Would you think less of me if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key? And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me who have learned the wisdom of silence. Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence? And if you do — I want you to tell me of a meadow where my skateboard will soar. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving, and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes from other people’s wounds, and if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon — that if you wanted to, you could pop, but you never would ‘cause you’d never want it to stop. If a tree fell in the forest and you were the only one there to hear — if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound, would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist, or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness? And lastly, let me ask you this: If you and I went for a walk and the entire walk, we didn’t talk — do you think eventually, we’d… kiss? No, wait. That’s asking too much — after all, this is only our first date.
Andrea Gibson
Don't talk like one of them. You're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve. -The Joker
Christoper Nolan
When we first started out I had a really big issue and a lot of my loved ones had a really big issue with the fact that I was totally in pain up there and there was a time when I tried to hurt myself off stage, but I got over that. Like, you should never want to hurt yourself. You should love yourself. Sometimes you have to kind of die inside in order to rise from your own ashes and believe in yourself and love yourself and become a new person and I think that that is going to be a lot of what the next record is about, not to plug it or anything. Like, it's going to talk about dying and coming back to become what you totally want to become. We are all becoming what we want to become.
Gerard Way
On Writing: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays 1. A beginning ends what an end begins. 2. The despair of the blank page: it is so full. 3. In the head Art’s not democratic. I wait a long time to be a writer good enough even for myself. 4. The best time is stolen time. 5. All work is the avoidance of harder work. 6. When I am trying to write I turn on music so I can hear what is keeping me from hearing. 7. I envy music for being beyond words. But then, every word is beyond music. 8. Why would we write if we’d already heard what we wanted to hear? 9. The poem in the quarterly is sure to fail within two lines: flaccid, rhythmless, hopelessly dutiful. But I read poets from strange languages with freedom and pleasure because I can believe in all that has been lost in translation. Though all works, all acts, all languages are already translation. 10. Writer: how books read each other. 11. Idolaters of the great need to believe that what they love cannot fail them, adorers of camp, kitsch, trash that they cannot fail what they love. 12. If I didn’t spend so much time writing, I’d know a lot more. But I wouldn’t know anything. 13. If you’re Larkin or Bishop, one book a decade is enough. If you’re not? More than enough. 14. Writing is like washing windows in the sun. With every attempt to perfect clarity you make a new smear. 15. There are silences harder to take back than words. 16. Opacity gives way. Transparency is the mystery. 17. I need a much greater vocabulary to talk to you than to talk to myself. 18. Only half of writing is saying what you mean. The other half is preventing people from reading what they expected you to mean. 19. Believe stupid praise, deserve stupid criticism. 20. Writing a book is like doing a huge jigsaw puzzle, unendurably slow at first, almost self-propelled at the end. Actually, it’s more like doing a puzzle from a box in which several puzzles have been mixed. Starting out, you can’t tell whether a piece belongs to the puzzle at hand, or one you’ve already done, or will do in ten years, or will never do. 21. Minds go from intuition to articulation to self-defense, which is what they die of. 22. The dead are still writing. Every morning, somewhere, is a line, a passage, a whole book you are sure wasn’t there yesterday. 23. To feel an end is to discover that there had been a beginning. A parenthesis closes that we hadn’t realized was open). 24. There, all along, was what you wanted to say. But this is not what you wanted, is it, to have said it?
James Richardson
He never hurries. He never shows his cards. He always hangs up first....Like when we first started talking on the phone, he would always be the one who got off first. When we kissed, he always pulled away first. He always kept me just on the edge of crazy. Feeling like I wanted him too much, which just made me want him more....[It was] excruciating and wonderful. It feels good to want something that bad. I thought about him the way you think about dinner when you haven't eaten for a day and a half. Like you'd sell your soul for it.
Rainbow Rowell (Attachments)
Peeta,” I say lightly. “You said at the interview you’d had a crush on me forever. When did forever start?” “Oh, let’s see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and your hair... it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up,” Peeta says. “Your father? Why?” I ask. “He said, ‘See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner,’” Peeta says. “What? You’re making that up!” I exclaim. “No, true story,” Peeta says. “And I said, ‘A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could’ve had you?’ And he said, ‘Because when he sings... even the birds stop to listen.’” “That’s true. They do. I mean, they did,” I say. I’m stunned and surprisingly moved, thinking of the baker telling this to Peeta. It strikes me that my own reluctance to sing, my own dismissal of music might not really be that I think it’s a waste of time. It might be because it reminds me too much of my father. “So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She stood you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent,” Peeta says. “Oh, please,” I say, laughing. “No, it happened. And right when your song ended, I knew—just like your mother—I was a goner,” Peeta says. “Then for the next eleven years, I tried to work up the nerve to talk to you.” “Without success,” I add. “Without success. So, in a way, my name being drawn in the reaping was a real piece of luck,” says Peeta. For a moment, I’m almost foolishly happy and then confusion sweeps over me. Because we’re supposed to be making up this stuff, playing at being in love not actually being in love. But Peeta’s story has a ring of truth to it. That part about my father and the birds. And I did sing the first day of school, although I don’t remember the song. And that red plaid dress... there was one, a hand-me-down to Prim that got washed to rags after my father’s death. It would explain another thing, too. Why Peeta took a beating to give me the bread on that awful hollow day. So, if those details are true... could it all be true? “You have a... remarkable memory,” I say haltingly. “I remember everything about you,” says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.” “I am now,” I say. “Well, I don’t have much competition here,” he says. I want to draw away, to close those shutters again, but I know I can’t. It’s as if I can hear Haymitch whispering in my ear, “Say it! Say it!” I swallow hard and get the words out. “You don’t have much competition anywhere.” And this time, it’s me who leans in.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
I remember I once saw this old movie...; in it the main character was talking about how sad it is that the last time you have sex you don't know it's the last time. Since I've never even had a first time, I'm not exactly an expert, but I'm guessing it's like that for most things in life--the last kiss, the last laugh, the last cup of coffee, the last sunset, the last time you jump through a sprinkler or eat an ice-cream cone, or stick your tongue out to catch a snowflake. You just don't know. But I think that's a good thing, really, because if you did know it would be almost impossible to let go. When you do know, it's like being asked to step off the edge of a cliff: all you want to do is get down on your hands and knees and kiss the solid ground, smell it, hold on to it.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
We were talking the other evening about the phrases one uses when trying to comfort someone who is in distress. I told him that in English we sometimes say, 'I've been there.' This was unclear to him at first-I've been where? But I explained that deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific loacation, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope. 'So sadness is a place?' Giovanni asked. 'Sometimes people live there for years,' I said.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby." And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection. There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in. This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share. But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
Sarah Kay
There is a distinct difference between "suspense" and "surprise," and yet many pictures continually confuse the two. I'll explain what I mean. We are now having a very innocent little chat. Let's suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, "Boom!" There is an explosion. The public is surprised, but prior to this surprise, it has seen an absolutely ordinary scene, of no special consequence. Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the public knows it, probably because they have seen the anarchist place it there. The public is aware the bomb is going to explode at one o'clock and there is a clock in the decor. The public can see that it is a quarter to one. In these conditions, the same innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen: "You shouldn't be talking about such trivial matters. There is a bomb beneath you and it is about to explode!" In the first case we have given the public fifteen seconds of surprise at the moment of the explosion. In the second we have provided them with fifteen minutes of suspense. The conclusion is that whenever possible the public must be informed. Except when the surprise is a twist, that is, when the unexpected ending is, in itself, the highlight of the story.
Alfred Hitchcock
To my son, If you are reading this letter, then I am dead. I expect to die, if not today, then soon. I expect that Valentine will kill me. For all his talk of loving me, for all his desire for a right-hand man, he knows that I have doubts. And he is a man who cannot abide doubt. I do not know how you will be brought up. I do not know what they will tell you about me. I do not even know who will give you this letter. I entrust it to Amatis, but I cannot see what the future holds. All I know is that this is my chance to give you an accounting of a man you may well hate. There are three things you must know about me. The first is that I have been a coward. Throughout my life I have made the wrong decisions, because they were easy, because they were self-serving, because I was afraid. At first I believed in Valentine’s cause. I turned from my family and to the Circle because I fancied myself better than Downworlders and the Clave and my suffocating parents. My anger against them was a tool Valentine bent to his will as he bent and changed so many of us. When he drove Lucian away I did not question it but gladly took his place for my own. When he demanded I leave Amatis, the woman I love, and marry Celine, a girl I did not know, I did as he asked, to my everlasting shame. I cannot imagine what you might be thinking now, knowing that the girl I speak of was your mother. The second thing you must know is this. Do not blame Celine for any of this, whatever you do. It was not her fault, but mine. Your mother was an innocent from a family that brutalized her. She wanted only kindess, to feel safe and loved. And though my heart had been given already, I loved her, in my fashion, just as in my heart, I was faithful to Amatis. Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae. I wonder if you love Latin as I do, and poetry. I wonder who has taught you. The third and hardest thing you must know is that I was prepared to hate you. The son of myslef and the child-bride I barely knew, you seemed to be the culmination of all the wrong decisions I had made, all the small compromises that led to my dissolution. Yet as you grew inside my mind, as you grew in the world, a blameless innocent, I began to realize that I did not hate you. It is the nature of parents to see their own image in their children, and it was myself I hated, not you. For there is only one thing I wan from you, my son — one thing from you, and of you. I want you to be a better man than I was. Let no one else tell you who you are or should be. Love where you wish to. Believe as you wish to. Take freedom as your right. I don’t ask that you save the world, my boy, my child, the only child I will ever have. I ask only that you be happy. Stephen
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
But why me? Because, idiot, you... are funny and smart and you have a giant heart that you can't even pretend to hide. And you love your friends and your mum, and you held my hand and made me sing when I was so scared I thought I was going to die. I knew you understood, right from the beginning, this thing inside, the stuff in your head that you need to make real. You get that.... And you wear stupid Superman pyjamas without any irony, and your face lights up when you talk about the movies you love.... And... you protect my dwarf. You always have her back. And you have a dimple when you smile that's so cute I almost died the first time I saw it.
Melissa Keil (Life in Outer Space)
The first word is 'Fine'. When a woman says this during an argument, she knows she is right and that you are very wrong. She is not fine - you're not fine, nothing is fine." I snorted because that was true. Alec frowned. "But what about if she is wrong-" "Alec, stop. Do not talk back when she says something is fine, wait until she is calm to mention she might be wrong.
L.A. Casey (Alec (Slater Brothers, #2))
When Alex leaves a little later, Carlos steps forward. “Need help?” I shake my head. “Are you ever gonna talk to me again? Dammit, Kiara, enough with the silent treatment. I’d rather have you say your little two-word sentences than stop talkin’ altogether. Hell, just flip me off again.” I toss my backpack in the backseat and start the engine. “Where are you goin’?” Carlos asks, stepping in front of my car. I beep. “I’m not movin’,” he says. My response is another beep. It’s not an intimidating, deep beep like most cars, but it’s the best my car can give. He places both hands on the hood. “Move,” I say. He moves all right. With pantherlike quickness, Carlos jumps through the open passenger window, feet first. “You should get the door fixed,” he says.
Simone Elkeles (Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry #2))
This is us. Our pose. The smush. It’s even how we are in the ultrasound photo they took of us inside Mom and how I had us in the picture Fry ripped up yesterday. Unlike most everyone else on earth, from the very first cells of us, we were together, we came here together. This is why no one hardly notices that Jude does most of the talking for both of us, why we can only play piano with all four of our hands on the keyboard and not at all alone, why we can never do Rochambeau because not once in thirteen years have we chosen differently. It’s always: two rocks, two papers, two scissors. When I don’t draw us like this, I draw us as half-people.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
When did my house turn into a hangout for every grossly overpaid, terminally pampered professional football player in northern Illinois?" "We like it here," Jason said. "It reminds us of home." "Plus, no women around." Leandro Collins, the Bears' first-string tight end emerged from the office munching on a bag of chips. "There's times when you need a rest from the ladies." Annabelle shot out her arm and smacked him in the side of the head. "Don't forget who you're talking to." Leandro had a short fuse, and he'd been known to take out a ref here and there when he didn't like a call, but the tight end merely rubbed the side of his head and grimaced. "Just like my mama." "Mine, too," Tremaine said with happy nod. Annabelle spun on Heath. "Their mother! I'm thirty-one years old, and I remind them of their mothers." "You act like my mother," Sean pointed out, unwisely as it transpired, because he got a swat in the head next.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6))
Then I said, “Matt’s got a big mouth.” “They all got big mouths, girl, learn that quick. These boys talk more than a pack of women. I lost fifty bucks on you.” I was stunned speechless again, this time it didn’t last as long. “What?” “See, Lee nailed Indy the first night they were together. Not nailed her nailed her but she was in his bed. Eddie, with Jet, it took a few days. Hank and Roxie, like, a day. Vance, like three, but Jules was a virgin and he had to interrupt the festivities once to go out and shoot someone.” I was blinking rapidly and feeling kind of faint at the amount and sensitivity of information Shirleen was imparting, not to mention what it might mean to me. “So we had a pool. Everyone threw down money on when they thought Luke would nail you. Mace won five hundred dollars.” Ho-ly crap. “So,” she went on. “Did he nail you nail you or did you two just sleep?” For some reason, I answered her unbelievably nosy question. “We just slept.” “New pool!” she shouted.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Revenge (Rock Chick, #5))
Sometimes when you get older — and I’m not talking about you, I’m talking generally, because everyone ages differently — things you think on and wish on start to seem real. And then you believe them, and before you know it they’re part of your history, and if someone challenges you on them and says they’re not true — why, then you get offended because you can’t remember the first part. All you know is that you’ve been called a liar.
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
The italian nanny was attempting to answer the teachers latest question when the moroccan student interupted, shouting "Excuse me, What is an easter?" it would seem that depsite having grown up in a muslim country, she would have heard it mentioned once or twice, but no. "I mean it," She said. " I have no idea what you people are talking about." The teacher called upon the rest of us to explain. The poles led the charge to the best of their ability. It is," said one, "a party for the little boy of god who call his self jesus and... oh shit." She faltered and her fellow country man came to her aid. He call his self Jesus and then he die one day on two... morsels of... lumber." The rest of the class jumped in, offering bits of information that would have given the pope an aneurysm. he die one day and then he go above of my head to live with your father." he weared of himself the long hair and after he die. the first day he come back here for to say hello to the peoples." he Nice the jesus." he make the good things, and on the easter we be sad because somebody makes him dead today.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
What?” Jace was standing up now. “When you first step off. Bend the knees right away. Otherwise you did pretty well.” “But what about Isabelle?” Simon asked. “What do I do?” “I have no idea,” Jace said. “So you just came here to torture me and talk about yourself?” Simon demanded. “Oh, Simon, Simon, Simon,” said Jace. “You may not remember, but that’s kind of our thing.” With that, he walked away, clearly aware of the admiring glances that followed his every step.
Cassandra Clare (The Whitechapel Fiend (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #3))
Congratulations," he said, his voice dry. "You finally managed to find a woman as tragically noble as yourself. I didn't think one existed." "I'm not tragic." Kaldar held up his hand. "Spare me. Some children are born wearing a silk shirt; you were born wrapped in melancholy. When they slapped you to make you cry, you just sighed heavily and a single tear rolled from your eye." He dragged his finger from the corner of his left eye to his cheek. " Your first words were probably 'woe is me.'" "My first words were 'Kaldar, shut up!' because you talked too much. Still do.
Ilona Andrews (Steel's Edge (The Edge, #4))
It matters, Emma." He grabs my hand and pulls me to him again. "Tell me right now. Do you care for me?" "If you can't tell that I'm stupid in love with you, Galen, then you aren't a very good ambassador for the hum-" His mouth covers mine, cutting me off. This kiss isn't gentle like the first one. It's definitely not sweet. It's rough, demanding, searching. And disorienting. There's not a part of me that isn't melting against Galen, not a part that isn't combusting with his fevered touch. I accidentally moan into his lips. He takes it for his cue to life me off my feet, to pull me up to his height for more leverage. I take his groan for my cue to kiss him harder. He ignores his cell phone ringing in his pocket. I ignore the rest of the universe. Even when headlights approach, I'm willing to overlook their intrusion and keep kissing. But, prince that he is Galen is a little more refined than me at this moment. He gently pries his lips from mine and sets me down. His smile is both intoxicated and intoxicating. "We still need to talk.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The soul is born, he said vaguely, first in those moments I told you of. It has a slow and dark birth, more mysterious than the birth of the body. When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets.
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
You want to hear the rules?" My heart jackhammered as I nodded. That same hand slid around my hip, up under my shirt, and felt warm and perfect against my lower back. I closed my eyes as his lips just barely brushed mine. His touch made me feel brave. It pushed the uncertainty back until it couldn't reach me. "The first one is you can't think too hard about it. The second is you say when you want to stop. The third is you do whatever feels good to you. The fourth is-" "-you stop talking," I said, blindly reaching back to pull the door shut, "and kiss me?
Alexandra Bracken (In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3))
The first step is to care, Tukks’s voice seemed to whisper. Some talk about being emotionless in battle. Well, I suppose it’s important to keep your head. But I hate that feeling of killing while calm and cold. I’ve seen that those who care fight harder, longer, and better than those who don’t. It’s the difference between mercenaries and real soldiers. It’s the difference between fighting to defend your homeland and fighting on foreign soil. It’s good to care when you fight, so long as you don’t let it consume you. Don’t try to stop yourself from feeling. You’ll hate who you become.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
Love at first sight may not apply when you're nine and eleven, but I feel like I've always known she was my purpose in the truest sense of the word. My be-all, end-all. From the very first moment, all clear sandals and soft curls, all shy smiles in the hallway on her first day, and I sounded like such an idiot when I tried to talk to her, because somewhere inside I knew then. I knew she was incomparable.
YellowBella (Dusty)
Dear Max - You looked so beautiful today. I'm going to remember what you looked like forever. ... And I hope you remember me the same way - clean, ha-ha. I'm glad our last time together was happy. But I'm leaving tonight, leaving the flock, and this time it's for good. I don't know if I'll ever see any of you again. The thing is, Max, that everyone is a little bit right. Added up all together, it makes this one big right. Dylan's a little bit right about how my being here might be putting the rest of you in danger. The threat might have been just about Dr. Hans, but we don't know that for sure. Angel is a little bit right about how splitting up the flock will help all of us survive. And the rest of the flock is a little bit right about how when you and I are together, we're focused on each other - we can't help it. The thing is, Maximum, I love you. I can't help but be focused on you when we're together. If you're in the room, I want to be next to you. If you're gone, I think about you. You're the one who I want to talk to. In a fight, I want you at my back. When we're together, the sun is shining. When we're apart, everything is in shades of gray. I hope you'll forgive me someday for turning our worlds into shades of gray - at least for a while. ... You're not at your best when you're focused on me. I mean, you're at your best Maxness, but not your best leaderness. I mostly need Maxness. The flock mostly needs leaderness. And Angel, if you're listening to this, it ain't you, sweetie. Not yet. ... At least for a couple more years, the flock needs a leader to survive, no matter how capable everyone thinks he or she is. The truth is that they do need a leader, and the truth is that you are the best leader. It's one of the things I love about you. But the more I thought about it, the more sure I got that this is the right thing to do. Maybe not for you, or for me, but for all of us together, our flock. Please don't try to find me. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, besides wearing that suit today, and seeing you again will only make it harder. You'd ask me to come back, and I would, because I can't say no to you. But all the same problems would still be there, and I'd end up leaving again, and then we'd have to go through this all over again. Please make us only go through this once. ... I love you. I love your smile, your snarl, your grin, your face when you're sleeping. I love your hair streaming out behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn't have too much mud or blood in it. I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny, downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they're cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me. ... You're the best warrior I know, the best leader. You're the most comforting mom we've ever had. You're the biggest goofball, the worst driver, and a truly lousy cook. You've kept us safe and provided for us, in good times and bad. You're my best friend, my first and only love, and the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, with wings or without. ... Tell you what, sweetie: If in twenty years we haven't expired yet, and the world is still more or less in one piece, I'll meet you at the top of that cliff where we first met the hawks and learned to fly with them. You know the one. Twenty years from today, if I'm alive, I'll be there, waiting for you. You can bet on it. Good-bye, my love. Fang P.S. Tell everyone I sure will miss them
James Patterson
Is it possible to become friends with a butterfly?" "It is if you first become a part of nature. You suppress your presence as a human being, stay very still, and convince yourself that you are a tree or grass or a flower. It takes time, but once the butterfly lets its guard down, you can become friends quite naturally." ... " ... I come here every day, say hello to the butterflies, and talk about things with them. When the time comes, though, they just quietly go off and disappear. I'm sure it means they've died, but I can never find their bodies. They don't leave any trace behind. It's like they've been absorbed by the air. They're dainty little creatures that hardly exist at all: they come out of nowhere, search quietly for a few, limited things, and disappear into nothingness again, perhaps to some other world.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 Book 1 (1Q84, #1))
We're in Des Moines, Iowa today, were in Omaha, Nebraska yesterday and Boise, Idaho the day before. When we landed at the airport in Boise, from Portland, Oregon this lady from our plane came up from behind as we walked down the terminal. She approached me and said "Taylor, I just love your song and want to wish you great things in you career." I looked and her and said "Well, THANK YOU!" and then said " who did you talk to?". (and then pointed to my Mom and the Label rep we were traveling with) I was convinced that one of them had talked to the lady on the plane and told her about me and my song. The lady said "neither one" and then I said "Well, how did you know who I was?" and the lady said "because I listen to radio and I watched your video". This was the first time someone had actually KNOWN who I was and MY NAME. wow. I just walked over and hugged her, and said ...."You're the first person who's ever done that, thankyou." It was an amazing moment to remember, and I always will.
Taylor Swift
What?” Eric shook his head. “Angel Moreno is into talking to chicks now? When did you turn into a total wuss?" Angel shrugged, and took another bite of his food. He avoided looking at Eric; suddenly not sure he wanted to talk about it. “I don’t know, dude, she’s just cool to hang with, I guess.” Eric nodded, as if he got it. “So, you’re not into her? I thought she was pretty hot.” “I’m into her, you ass, just ‘cause I didn’t bone her the first night. Not all girls are like that, you know.” Eric grinned. “So, you did get shot down.
Elizabeth Reyes (Forever Mine (The Moreno Brothers, #1))
When I get home, I’m going to call my mother and tell her we’re getting married.” “You better let me talk to your dad first.” “That’s so sweet. You want to ask for his permission to marry me?” “Fuck, no. I want to tell him to hide all his guns.
Jamie Begley (Riot (Predators MC, #1))
I wanted to start over completely, to begin again as new people with nothing of the past left over. I wanted to run away from who we had been seen to be, who we had been... It's the first thing I think of when trouble comes - the geographic solution. Change your name, leave town, disappear, make yourself over. What hides behind that impulse is the conviction that the life you have lived, the person you are, is valueless, better off abandoned, that running away is easier than trying to change things, that change itself is not possible.
Dorothy Allison (Skin: Talking about Sex, Class and Literature)
Don't talk like you're one of them! You're not... even if you'd like to be. To them you're just a freak, like me. They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out. Like a leper. See, their morals, their "code"... it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these uh, these "civilized people", they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve.
Christopher J. Nolan
At first glance it seems strange that the attitude of the anti-Semite can be equated with that of the negrophobe. It was my philosophy teacher from the Antilles who reminded me one day: “When you hear someone insulting the Jews pay attention; he is talking about you.” And I believed at the time he was universally right, meaning that I was responsible in my body and my soul for the fate reserved for my brother. Since then, I have understood that what he meant quite simply was the anti-Semite is inevitably a negrophobe.
Frantz Fanon (Black Skin, White Masks)
My name is Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as "quothe." Names are important as they tell you a great deal about a person. I've had more names than anyone has a right to. The Adem call me Maedre. Which, depending on how it's spoken, can mean The Flame, The Thunder, or The Broken Tree. "The Flame" is obvious if you've ever seen me. I have red hair, bright. If I had been born a couple of hundred years ago I would probably have been burned as a demon. I keep it short but it's unruly. When left to its own devices, it sticks up and makes me look as if I have been set afire. "The Thunder" I attribute to a strong baritone and a great deal of stage training at an early age. I've never thought of "The Broken Tree" as very significant. Although in retrospect, I suppose it could be considered at least partially prophetic. My first mentor called me E'lir because I was clever and I knew it. My first real lover called me Dulator because she liked the sound of it. I have been called Shadicar, Lightfinger, and Six-String. I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them. But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant "to know." I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Once there was a boy,” said Jace. Clary interrupted immediately. “A Shadowhunter boy?” “Of course.” For a moment a bleak amusement colored his voice. Then it was gone. “When the boy was six years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. Falcons are raptors – killing birds, his father told him, the Shadowhunters of the sky. “The falcon didn’t like the boy, and the boy didn’t like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. It would slash at him with beak and talons when he came near: For weeks his wrists and hands were always bleeding. He didn’t know it, but his father had selected a falcon that had lived in the wild for over a year, and thus was nearly impossible to tame. But the boy tried, because his father told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father. “He stayed with the falcon constantly, keeping it awake by talking to it and even playing music to it, because a tired bird was meant to be easier to tame. He learned the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. He was meant to keep the falcon blind, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it – instead he tried to sit where the bird could see him as he touched and stroked its wings, willing it to trust him. Hee fed it from his hand, and at first it would not eat. Later it ate so savagely that its beak cut the skin of his palm. But the boy was glad, because it was progress, and because he wanted the bird to know him, even if the bird had to consume his blood to make that happen. “He began to see that the falcon was beautiful, that its slim wings were built for the speed of flight, that it was strong and swift, fierce and gentle. When it dived to the ground, it moved like likght. When it learned to circle and come to his wrist, he neary shouted with delight Sometimes the bird would hope to his shoulder and put its beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud. “Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands and broke its neck. ‘I told you to make it obedient,’ his father said, and dropped the falcon’s lifeless body to the ground. ‘Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not meant to be loving pets: They are fierce and wild, savage and cruel. This bird was not tamed; it was broken.’ “Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until eventually his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
I think about how there are certain people who come into your life, and leave a mark. I don’t mean the usual faint impression: he was cute, she was nice, they made me laugh, I wish I’d known her better, I remember the time she threw up in class. And I don’t just mean that they change you. A lot of people can change you – the first kid who called you a name, the first teacher who said you were smart., the first person who crowned you best friend. It’s the change you remember, the firsts and what they meant, not really the people. Ethan changed me, for instance, but the longer we are apart the more he sort of recedes into the distance as a real person and in his place is a cardboard cutout that says first boyfriend. I’m talking about the ones who, for whatever reason are a part of you as your own soul. Their place in your heart is tender; a bruise of longing, a pulse of unfinished business. My mom was right about that. Just hearing their names pushes and pulls at you in a hundred ways, and when you try to define those hundred ways, describe them even to yourself, words are useless. If you had a lifetime to talk, there would still be things left unsaid.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
So,” he said, flicking her nose, “how long have you wanted—” “I don’t see how that’s any of your business, Captain Westfall. And I won’t tell you until you tell me.” He flicked her nose again, and she batted away his fingers. He caught her hand in his, holding it up so he could look at her amethyst ring—the ring she never took off, not even to bathe. “The Yulemas ball. Maybe earlier. Maybe even Samhuinn, when I brought you this ring. But Yulemas was the first time I realized I didn’t like the idea of you with—with someone else.” He kissed the tips of her fingers. “Your turn.” “I’m not telling you,” she said. Because she had no idea; she was still figuring out when it had happened, exactly. It somehow felt as if it had always been Chaol, even from the very beginning, even before they’d ever met. He began to protest, but she pulled him back down on top of her. “And that’s enough talking. I might be tired, but there are still plenty of things to do instead of going for a run.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
Maxon, I hope you find someone you can't love without. I really do. And I hope you never have to know what it's like to have to try and live without them." Maxon's face was a shallow echo of my own pain. He looked absolutely brokenhearted for me. More than that, he looked angry. "I'm sorry, America. I don't..." His face shifted a little. "Is this a good time to pat your shoulder?" His uncertainty made me smile. "Yes. Now would be a great time." He seemed as skeptically as he'd been the other day, but instead of just patting my shoulder, he leaned in and tentatively wrapped his arms around me. "I only really ever hug my mother. Is this okay?" he asked. I laughed. "It's hard to get a hug wrong." After a minute, I spoke again. "I know what you mean, though. I don't really hug anyone besides my family." I felt so drained after the long day of dressing and the Report and dinner and talking. It was nice to have Maxon just hold me, sometimes even patting my hair. He wasn't as lost as he seemed. He patiently waited for my breathing to slow, and when it did, he pulled back to look at me. "America, I promise you I'll keep you here until the last possible moment. I understand that they want me to narrow the Elite down to three and then choose. But I swear to you, I'll make it to two and keep you here until then. I won't make you leave a moment before I have to. Or the moment you're ready. Whichever comes first." I nodded. "I know we just met, but I think you're wonderful. And it bothers me to see you hurt. If he were here, I'd...I'd..." Maxon shook with frustration, then sighed. "I'm so sorry, America." He pulled me back in, and I rested my head on his broad shoulder. I knew Maxon would keep his promises. So I settled into perhaps the last place I ever thought I'd find genuine comfort.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
She was--I keep using the past tense; I ought to say she is--one of those people who, at first sight, look plain, are quiet, unassertive, unmemorable even. But who, when they start to talk and you get to know them, become more and more attractive and impressive, and you see that in fact they are beautiful. Not conventionally beautiful, not celebrity beautiful, but beautiful all through.
Aidan Chambers (Dying to Know You)
What is it?” Leigh glanced up with uncertainty, then back to his groin with a sort of horrified fascination. “Well, um… is there something about immortals you haven’t told me?” “What? What do you mean?” he asked with bewilderment. Leigh shook her head, then leaned forward and said “Hello?” to his groin, only to stiffen again and jerk back as if it had hissed at her. “Are you talking to my penis?” Lucian asked with disbelief. “It talked to me first,” she said defensively, and frowned. “You didn’t mention this little skill.” Lucian decided she must be joking and laughed. “So, what did it say?” “It said, ‘Lucian? Lucian, are you there?’” He blinked. “Why would it say that?” “I don’t know. It’s your penis.” That’s when he recalled the cell phone in his pocket. A laugh bursting from his lips, Lucian reached in his pocket to retrieve the phone.
Lynsay Sands (Bite Me If You Can (Argeneau #6))
Sam - I liked you from the first moment I met you! I made you invite me to your house for a study group, even though - you know what - I'm pretty good at studying on my own! When I went away, you were the only person I wanted to talk to! You were the first person I needed to see when I got back! I sang in front of you, and I've never let anyone see that part of me before! You are the person... I feel like I've run halfway around the world to find! I thought that was pretty obvious! Apart from throwing myself naked at you while holding a giant sign that says, Samuel, I am completely in love with you too, I don't know what else to do!
Melissa Keil (Life in Outer Space)
At first I wasn’t all that tempted by him, but then he killed the spider. Which was a huge point in his favor.” “Absolutely. I love men who kill bugs.” “And then when I was freaking out and couldn’t breathe, he was so…gentle.” Zoe sighed and colored, remembering. “He was holding me, and talking to me in that voice…you know, sort of low and rough around the edges…” “All the Nolans sound like that,” Justine said reflectively. “Like they’ve got a mild case of bronchitis. Totally hot.
Lisa Kleypas (Dream Lake (Friday Harbor, #3))
While I was backstage before presenting the Best New Artist award, I talked to George Strait for a while. He's so incredibly cool. So down-to-earth and funny. I think it should be known that George Strait has an awesome, dry, subtle sense of humor. Then I went back out into the crowd and watched the rest of the show. Keith Urban's new song KILLS ME, it's so good. And when Brad Paisley ran down into the front row and kissed Kimberley's stomach (she's pregnant) before accepting his award, Kellie, my mom, and I all started crying. That's probably the sweetest thing I've ever seen. I thought Kellie NAILED her performance of the song we wrote together "The Best Days of Your Life". I was so proud of her. I thought Darius Rucker's performance RULED, and his vocals were incredible. I'm a huge fan. I love it when I find out that the people who make the music I love are wonderful people. I love Faith Hill and how she always makes everyone in the room feel special. I love Keith Urban, and how he told me he knows every word to "Love Story" (That made my night). I love Nicole Kidman, and her sweet, warm personality. I love how Kenny Chesney always has something hilarious or thoughtful to say. But the real moment that brought on this wave of gratitude was when Shania Twain HERSELF walked up and introduced herself to me. Shania Twain, as in.. The reason I wanted to do this in the first place. Shania Twain, as in.. the most impressive and independent and confident and successful female artist to ever hit country music. She walked up to me and said she wanted to meet me and tell me I was doing a great job. She was so beautiful, guys. She really IS that beautiful. All the while, I was completely star struck. After she walked away, I realized I didn't have my camera. Then I cried. You know, last night made me feel really great about being a country music fan in general. Country music is the place to find reality in music, and reality in the stars who make that music. There's kindness and goodness and....honesty in the people I look up to, and knowing that makes me smile. I'm proud to sing country music, and that has never wavered. The reason for the being.. nights like last night.
Taylor Swift
The very quality of your life, whether you love it or hate it, is based upon how thankful you are toward God. It is one's attitude that determines whether life unfolds into a place of blessedness or wretchedness. Indeed, looking at the same rose bush, some people complain that the roses have thorns while others rejoice that some thorns come with roses. It all depends on your perspective. This is the only life you will have before you enter eternity. If you want to find joy, you must first find thankfulness. Indeed, the one who is thankful for even a little enjoys much. But the unappreciative soul is always miserable, always complaining. He lives outside the shelter of the Most High God. Perhaps the worst enemy we have is not the devil but our own tongue. James tells us, "The tongue is set among our members as that which . . . sets on fire the course of our life" (James 3:6). He goes on to say this fire is ignited by hell. Consider: with our own words we can enter the spirit of heaven or the agonies of hell! It is hell with its punishments, torments and misery that controls the life of the grumbler and complainer! Paul expands this thought in 1 Corinthians 10:10, where he reminds us of the Jews who "grumble[d] . . . and were destroyed by the destroyer." The fact is, every time we open up to grumbling and complaining, the quality of our life is reduced proportionally -- a destroyer is bringing our life to ruin! People often ask me, "What is the ruling demon over our church or city?" They expect me to answer with the ancient Aramaic or Phoenician name of a fallen angel. What I usually tell them is a lot more practical: one of the most pervasive evil influences over our nation is ingratitude! Do not minimize the strength and cunning of this enemy! Paul said that the Jews who grumbled and complained during their difficult circumstances were "destroyed by the destroyer." Who was this destroyer? If you insist on discerning an ancient world ruler, one of the most powerful spirits mentioned in the Bible is Abaddon, whose Greek name is Apollyon. It means "destroyer" (Rev. 9:11). Paul said the Jews were destroyed by this spirit. In other words, when we are complaining or unthankful, we open the door to the destroyer, Abaddon, the demon king over the abyss of hell! In the Presence of God Multitudes in our nation have become specialists in the "science of misery." They are experts -- moral accountants who can, in a moment, tally all the wrongs society has ever done to them or their group. I have never talked with one of these people who was happy, blessed or content about anything. They expect an imperfect world to treat them perfectly. Truly, there are people in this wounded country of ours who need special attention. However, most of us simply need to repent of ingratitude, for it is ingratitude itself that is keeping wounds alive! We simply need to forgive the wrongs of the past and become thankful for what we have in the present. The moment we become grateful, we actually begin to ascend spiritually into the presence of God. The psalmist wrote, "Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. . . . Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations" (Psalm 100:2, 4-5). It does not matter what your circumstances are; the instant you begin to thank God, even though your situation has not changed, you begin to change. The key that unlocks the gates of heaven is a thankful heart. Entrance into the courts of God comes as you simply begin to praise the Lord.
Francis Frangipane
A deaf composer's like a cook who's lost his sense of taste. A frog that's lost its webbed feet. A truck driver with his license revoked. That would throw anybody for a loop, don't you think? But Beethoven didn't let it get to him. Sure, he must have been a little depressed at first, but he didn't let misfortune get him down. It was like, Problem? What problem? He composed more than ever and came up with better music than anything he'd ever written. I really admire the guy. Like this Archduke Trio--he was nearly deaf when he wrote it, can you believe it? What I'm trying to say is, it must be tough on you not being able to read, but it's not the end of the world. You might not be able to read, but there are things only you can do. That's what you gotta focus on--your strengths. Like being able to talk with the stone.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
You once told me you could stand many things.” My voice was raspy from all the emotions battering against those well-honed inner defenses. “So can I. I can stand whatever Apollyon dishes out, can take the bigotry from others over what I am, the freaky ghost juju from Marie, all the craziness my mother can throw at me, and even the pain of my uncle dying. But the one thing that I would never, ever recover from would be losing you. You made me promise before to go on if that happened, but Bones”—here my words broke and tears spilled down my cheeks—“I wouldn’t want to.” He’d been near the side of the bed when I started talking, but was in my arms before the first tear fell. Very softly, his lips brushed over those wet streaks, coming back pink from the drops still shimmering on them. “No matter what happens, you will never lose me,” he whispered. “I am forever yours, Kitten, in this life or the next.
Jeaniene Frost (This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, #5))
Do not mock my baby." He pulls away and strokes his palm over he seat. "She was my first love." "Well your current ... er ... girl, is getting jealous with all the attention you're paying your first love, and she has orifices you can stick things in without having your boy bits burnt off." He pulls me into him again and his mouth goes to work on my neck. “Fuck I love it when you talk dirty.
Carmen Jenner (Welcome to Sugartown (Sugartown, #1))
The Frays had never been a religiously observant family, but Clary loved Fifth Avenue at Christmas time. The air smelled like sweet roasted chestnuts, and the window displays sparkled with silver and blue, green and red. This year there were fat round crystal snowflakes attached to each lamppost, sending back the winter sunlight in shafts of gold. Not to mention the huge tree at Rockefeller Center. It threw its shadow across them as she and Simon draped themselves over the gate at the side of the skating rink, watching tourists fall down as they tried to navigate the ice. Clary had a hot chocolate wrapped in her hands, the warmth spreading through her body. She felt almost normal—this, coming to Fifth to see the window displays and the tree, had been a winter tradition for her and Simon for as long as she could remember. “Feels like old times, doesn’t it?” he said, echoing her thoughts as he propped his chin on his folded arms. She chanced a sideways look at him. He was wearing a black topcoat and scarf that emphasized the winter pallor of his skin. His eyes were shadowed, indicating that he hadn’t fed on blood recently. He looked like what he was—a hungry, tired vampire. Well, she thought. Almost like old times. “More people to buy presents for,” she said. “Plus, the always traumatic what-to-buy-someone-for-the-first-Christmas-after-you’ve-started-dating question.” “What to get the Shadowhunter who has everything,” Simon said with a grin. “Jace mostly likes weapons,” Clary sighed. “He likes books, but they have a huge library at the Institute. He likes classical music …” She brightened. Simon was a musician; even though his band was terrible, and was always changing their name—currently they were Lethal Soufflé—he did have training. “What would you give someone who likes to play the piano?” “A piano.” “Simon.” “A really huge metronome that could also double as a weapon?” Clary sighed, exasperated. “Sheet music. Rachmaninoff is tough stuff, but he likes a challenge.” “Now you’re talking. I’m going to see if there’s a music store around here.” Clary, done with her hot chocolate, tossed the cup into a nearby trash can and pulled her phone out. “What about you? What are you giving Isabelle?” “I have absolutely no idea,” Simon said. They had started heading toward the avenue, where a steady stream of pedestrians gawking at the windows clogged the streets. “Oh, come on. Isabelle’s easy.” “That’s my girlfriend you’re talking about.” Simon’s brows drew together. “I think. I’m not sure. We haven’t discussed it. The relationship, I mean.” “You really have to DTR, Simon.” “What?” “Define the relationship. What it is, where it’s going. Are you boyfriend and girlfriend, just having fun, ‘it’s complicated,’ or what? When’s she going to tell her parents? Are you allowed to see other people?” Simon blanched. “What? Seriously?” “Seriously. In the meantime—perfume!” Clary grabbed Simon by the back of his coat and hauled him into a cosmetics store that had once been a bank. It was massive on the inside, with rows of gleaming bottles everywhere. “And something unusual,” she said, heading for the fragrance area. “Isabelle isn’t going to want to smell like everyone else. She’s going to want to smell like figs, or vetiver, or—” “Figs? Figs have a smell?” Simon looked horrified; Clary was about to laugh at him when her phone buzzed. It was her mother. where are you? It’s an emergency.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
I stood up angrily. “Look, I’m done talking to you tonight. Will you let me out of this dream? I’m not telling you where I am. And I’m not interested in hearing about how wonderful Avery is and how much better than me she is.” “Avery would never act like a little brat,” he said. “She wouldn’t get so offended that someone actually cares enough to check on her. She wouldn’t deny me the chance to learn more about my magic because she was paranoid someone would ruin her crazy attempt to get over her boyfriend’s death." “Don’t talk to me about being a brat,” I shot back. “You’re as selfish and self-centered as usual. It’s always about you—even this dream is. You hold me against my will, whether I want it or not, because it amuses you.” “Fine,” he said, voice cold. “I’ll end this. And I’ll end everything between us. I won’t be coming back.” “Good. I hope you mean it this time.” His green eyes were the last thing I saw before I woke up in my own bed. I sat up, gasping. My heart felt like it was breaking, and I almost thought I might cry. Adrian was right—I had been a brat. I’d lashed out at him when it wasn’t really deserved. And yet . . . I hadn’t been able to help it. I missed Lissa. I even kind of missed Adrian. And now someone else was taking my place, someone who wouldn’t just walk away like I had. I won’t be coming back. And for the first time ever, I had a feeling he really wouldn’t be.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
But how do you see you?" she asked. "Ever read The Brothers Karamazov?" I asked. "Once, a long time ago." "Well, toward the end, Alyosha is speaking to a young student named Kolya Krasotkin. And he says, Kolya, you're going to have a miserable future. But overall, you'll have a happy life." Two beers down, I hesitated before opening my third. "When I first read that, I didn't know what Alyosha meant," I said. "How was it possible for a life of misery to be happy overall? But then I understood, that misery could be limited to the future." "I have no idea what you're talking about." "Neither do I," I said. "Not yet.
Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
She said, “Do you see how I’m wearing this apron? It means I’m working. For a living.” The unconcerned expression didn’t flag. He said, “I’ll take care of it.” She echoed, “Take care of it?” “Yeah. How much do you make in an hour? I’ll take care of it. And I’ll talk to your manager.” For a moment, Blue was actually lost for words. She had never believed people who claimed to be speechless, but she was. She opened her mouth, and at first, all that came out was air. Then something like the beginning of a laugh. Then finally, she managed to sputter, “I am not a prostitute.” The Aglionby boy appeared puzzled for a long moment, and then realization dawned. “Oh, that was not how I meant it. That is not what I said.” “That is what you said! You think you can just pay me to talk to your friend? Clearly you pay most of your female companions by the hour and don’t know how it works with the real world, but . . . but . . .” Blue remembered that she was working to a point, but now what that point was. Indignation had eliminated all higher functions and all that remained was the desire to slap him. The boy opened his mouth to protest, and her thought came back to her all in a rush. “Most girls, when they’re interested in a guy, will sit with them for free.” To his credit, the Aglionby boy didn’t speak right away. Instead, he thought for a moment and then he said, without heat, “You said you were working for living. I thought it’d be rude to not take that into account. I’m sorry you’re insulted. I see where you’re coming from, but I feel it’s a little unair that you’re not doing the same for me.” “I feel you’re being condescending,” Blue said. In the background, she caught a glimpse of Soldier Boy making a plane of his hand. It was crashing and weaving toward the table surface while Smudgy Boy gulped laughter down. The elegant boy held his palm over his face in exaggerated horror, fingers spread just enough that she could see him wince. “Dear God,” remarked Cell Phone boy. “I don’t know what else to say.” “Sorry,” she recommended. “I said that already.” Blue considered. “Then ‘bye.’” He made a little gesture at his chest that she thought was supposed to mean he was curtsying or bowing or something sarcastically gentleman-like.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
The baby woke up before you did. I took him to the other room to let you get a little more sleep. We've been watching a game." "Did he cry?" "Only when he realized the Astros were having another first-round play-off flame out. But I told him there's no shame in crying over the Astros. It's how we Houston guys bond.
Lisa Kleypas (Smooth Talking Stranger (Travises, #3))
Did you know sometimes it frightens me-- when you say my name and I can't see you? will you ever learn to materialize before you speak? impetuous boy, if that's what you really are. how many centuries since you've climbed a balcony or do you do this every night with someone else? you tell me that you'll never leave and I am almost afraid to believe it. why is it me you've chosen to follow? did you like the way I look when I am sleeping? was my hair more fun to tangle? are my dreams more entertaining? do you laugh when I'm complaining that I'm all alone? where were you when I searched the sea for a friend to talk to me? in a year where will you be? is it enough for you to steal into my mind filling up my page with music written in my hand you know I'll take the credit for I must have made you come to me somehow. but please try to close the curtains when you leave at night, or I'll have to find someone to stay and warm me. will you always attend my midnight tea parties-- as long as I set it at your place? if one day your sugar sits untouched will you have gone forever? would you miss me in a thousand years-- when you will dry another's tears? but you say you'll never leave me and I wonder if you'll have the decency to pass through my wall to the next room while I dress for dinner but when I'm stuck in conversation with stuffed shirts whose adoration hurts my ears, where are you then? can't you cut in when I dance with other men? it's too late not to interfere with my life you've already made me a most unsuitable wife for any man who wants to be the first his bride has slept with and you can't just fly into people's bedrooms then expect them to calmly wave goodbye you've changed the course of history and didn't even try where are you now-- standing behind me, taking my hand? come and remind me who you are have you traveled far are you made of stardust too are the angels after you tell me what I am to do but until then I'll save your side of the bed just come and sing me to sleep
Emilie Autumn
I read the first chapter of A Brief History of Time when Dad was still alive, and I got incredibly heavy boots about how relatively insignificant life is, and how compared to the universe and compared to time, it didn't even matter if I existed at all. When Dad was tucking me in that night and we were talking about the book, I asked if he could think of a solution to that problem. "Which problem?" "The problem of how relatively insignificant we are." He said, "Well, what would happen if a plane dropped you in the middle of the Sahara Desert and you picked up a single grain of sand with tweezers and moved it one millimeter?" I said, "I'd probably die of dehydration." He said, "I just mean right then, when you moved that single grain of sand. What would that mean?" I said, "I dunno, what?" He said, "Think about it." I thought about it. "I guess I would have moved one grain of sand." "Which would mean?" "Which would mean I moved a grain of sand?" "Which would mean you changed the Sahara." "So?" "So? So the Sahara is a vast desert. And it has existed for millions of years. And you changed it!" "That's true!" I said, sitting up. "I changed the Sahara!" "Which means?" he said. "What? Tell me." "Well I'm not talking about painting the Mona Lisa or curing cancer. I'm just talking about moving that one grain of sand one millimeter." "Yeah? If you hadn't done it, human history would have been one way..." "Uh-huh?" "But you did do it, so...?" I stood on the bed, pointing one of my fingers at the fake stars, and screamed: "I changed the course of human history!" "That's right." "I changed the universe!" "You did." "I'm God!" "You're an atheist." "I don't exist!" I fell back onto the bed, into his arms, and we cracked up together.
Jonathan Safran Foer
The Summer after high school, when we first met, we make out in your Mustang, to Radiohead, and on my 18th birthday, we got matching tattoes, Used to steal your parents liquor, then climb to the roof, Talk about our future like we had a clue, Never thought I'd wondering I'd be losing you In another life, I would be your belle
Katy Perry
Is that all?” he blurted out. Crowley and Halt exchanged slightly puzzled glances. Then Crowley pursed his lips thoughtfully. “Um…it seems to be…Listed your trainging, mentioned a few achievements, made sure you know which end of an arrow is the sharp part…decided your new name…I think that’s…” Then it seemed that understanding dawned on him and his eyes opened wide. “Of course! You have to have you Silver…whatsis, don ‘t you?” He took hold of the chain that held his own Silver Oakleaf around his throat and shook it lightly. It was a badge of a Graduate Ranger. Then he began to search through his pockets, frowning. “Had it here! Had it here! Where the devil is it…wait. I heard something fall on the boards as I came in! Must have dropped it. Just check outside the front door, will you, Will?” Too stunned to talk, Will rose and went to the door. As he set his hand on the latch, he looked back at the two Rangers, still seated at the table. Crowley made a small shooing motion with the back of his hand, urging him to go outside. Will was still looking back at them when he opened the door and stepped through on the verandah. “Congratulations!” The massive cry went up from at least forty throats. He swung around in shock to find all his friends gathered in the clearing outside around the table laid for a feast, their faces beaming with smiles. Baron Arald, Sir Rodney, Lady Pauline and Master Chubb were all there. So were Jenny and George, his former wardmates. There were a dozen others in the Ranger uniform – men he had met worked with over the past five years. And wonder of wonders, there were Erak and Svengal , bellowing his name and waving their huge axes overhead in his praise. Close by them stood Horace and Gilan, both brandishing their swords overhead as well. It looked like a dangerous section of the crowd to be in, Will thought. After the first concerted shout, people began cheering and calling his name, laughing and waving to him. Halt and Crowley joined him on the verandah. The Commandant was doubled over with laughter. “Oh, if you could have seen yourself!” he wheezed. “Your face! Your face! It was priceless! ‘Is that all?’” He mimicked Will’s plaintive tones and doubled over again. Will tuned to Halt accusingly. His teacher grinned at him. “Your face was a study,” he said. “Do you so that to all apprentices?” Will asked. Halt nodded vigorously. “Every one. Stops them getting a swelled head at the last minute. You have to swear never to let an apprentice in on the secret.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
I stay back, because if i get close I'll have to roll him over and look in his eyes, and what if they're empty like Alina's were ? Then I'll know he's gone, like I knew she was gone, too far beyond my reach to ever hear my voice again, to hear me say, I'm sorry, Alina. I wish I'd called more often; I wish I'd heard the truth beneath our vapid sister talk; I wish I'd come to Dublin and fought beside you, or raged at you, because you were acting from fear, too, Alina, not hope at all, or you would have trusted me to help you. Or maybe just apologize, Barrons, for being too young to have my priorities reffined, like you, because I haven't suffered whatever the hell it is you suffered, and then shove you up against a wall and kiss you until you can't breathe, do what I wanted to do the first day I saw you there in your bloody damned bookstore. Disturb you like you disturbed me, make you see me, make you want me-pink me!-shatter your self-control, bring you crashing to your knees in front of me, even though I told myself I'd never want a man like you, that you were too old, too carnal, more animal than man, with one foot in the swamp and no desire to come all the way out, when the truth was that I was terrified by what you made me feel.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
Once upon a time, there was a boy. He lived in a village that no longer exists, on the edge of a field that no longer exists, where everything was discovered and everything was possible. A stick could be a sword. A pebble could be a diamond. A tree was a castle. Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in a house across the field from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. She was the Queen and he was the King. In the autumn light, her hair shone like a crown. They collected the world in small handfuls. When the sky grew dark, they parted with leaves in their hair. Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering. When they were ten he asked her to marry him. When they were eleven he kissed her for the first time. When they were thirteen they got into a fight and for three weeks they didn't talk. When they were fifteen she showed him the scar on her left breast. Their love was a secret they told no one. He promised her he would never love another girl as long as he lived. "What if I die?" she asked. "Even then," he said. For her sixteenth birthday, he gave her an English dictionary and together they learned the words. "What's this?" he'd ask, tracing his index finger around her ankle and she'd look it up. "And this?" he'd ask, kissing her elbow. "Elbow! What kind of word is that?" and then he'd lick it, making her giggle. "What about this," he asked, touching the soft skin behind her ear. "I don't know," she said, turning off the flashlight and rolling over, with a sigh, onto her back. When they were seventeen they made love for the first time, on a bed of straw in a shed. Later-when things happened that they could never have imagined-she wrote him a letter that said: When will you learn that there isn't a word for everything?
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
So what do you do when you are stuck? The first thing I do when I am stuck is pray. But I’m not talking about a quick, Help me Lord, Sunday’s a comin’ prayer. When I get stuck I get up from my desk to head for my closet. Literally. If I‘m at the office I go over to a corner that I have deemed my closet away from home. I get on my knees and remind God that this was not my idea, it was His… None of this is new information to God… Then I ask God to show me if there is something He wants to say to prepare me for what He wants me to communicate to our congregation. I surrender my ideas, my outline and my topic. Then I just stay in that quiet place until God quiets my heart… Many times I will have a breakthrough thought or idea that brings clarity to my message. . . Like you, I am simply a mouthpiece. Getting stuck is one way God keeps me ever conscious of that fact.
Andy Stanley (Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication)
Oh, I know that. Or at least I think I know that,” she stammers. “I mean, you seem like a decent guy, but then again, lots of serial killers probably seem decent too when you first meet them. Did you know that Ted Bundy was actually really charming?” Her eyes widen. “How messed up is that? Imagine you’re walking along one day and you meet this really cute, charming guy, and you’re like, oh my God, he’s perfect, and then you’re over at his place and you find a trophy dungeon in the basement with skin suits and Barbie dolls with the eyes ripped out and—” “Jesus,” I cut in. “Did anyone ever tell you that you talk a lot?
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out. So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter--and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote: Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send. HUCK FINN. I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking--thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper. It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: "All right, then, I'll GO to hell"--and tore it up.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
On Saturday mornings during deliveries, I'd practice picking out new words in Jane Eyre, sounding out the ones that needed sounding out—and I'm not lying, there were plenty. "'A new servitude! There is something in that,' I soliloquized." I mean, who talks like that? Do you know how long it takes to sound out a word like soliloquized? And even after you do, you have no idea what the stupid word means except that it probably just means "said," which is what stupid Charlotte Brontë should have said in the first place. When I delivered Mrs. Mason's groceries, she saw that I had Jane Eyre stuck under my arm. "Oh," she said, "that was my favorite novel in school." "It was?" I soliloquized.
Gary D. Schmidt (Okay for Now)
Don't believe everything she says, okay? Don't leave without talking to me." I turned around, and said, fiercely, "Never. Not even if I talk to you first. You aren't getting away now, buster." He dove for my mouth. And when he was finished ensuring that neither of us was going to get much sleep for a while, he said, "Remember that. We're both likely to be clinging to that thought by the time this is over.
Patricia Briggs (Night Broken (Mercy Thompson, #8))
How To Tell If Somebody Loves You: Somebody loves you if they pick an eyelash off of your face or wet a napkin and apply it to your dirty skin. You didn’t ask for these things, but this person went ahead and did it anyway. They don’t want to see you looking like a fool with eyelashes and crumbs on your face. They notice these things. They really look at you and are the first to notice if something is amiss with your beautiful visage! Somebody loves you if they assume the role of caretaker when you’re sick. Unsure if someone really gives a shit about you? Fake a case of food poisoning and text them being like, “Oh, my God, so sick. Need water.” Depending on their response, you’ll know whether or not they REALLY love you. “That’s terrible. Feel better!” earns you a stay in friendship jail; “Do you need anything? I can come over and bring you get well remedies!” gets you a cozy friendship suite. It’s easy to care about someone when they don’t need you. It’s easy to love them when they’re healthy and don’t ask you for anything beyond change for the parking meter. Being sick is different. Being sick means asking someone to hold your hair back when you vomit. Either love me with vomit in my hair or don’t love me at all. Somebody loves you if they call you out on your bullshit. They’re not passive, they don’t just let you get away with murder. They know you well enough and care about you enough to ask you to chill out, to bust your balls, to tell you to stop. They aren’t passive observers in your life, they are in the trenches. They have an opinion about your decisions and the things you say and do. They want to be a part of it; they want to be a part of you. Somebody loves you if they don’t mind the quiet. They don’t mind running errands with you or cleaning your apartment while blasting some annoying music. There’s no pressure, no need to fill the silences. You know how with some of your friends there needs to be some sort of activity for you to hang out? You don’t feel comfortable just shooting the shit and watching bad reality TV with them. You need something that will keep the both of you busy to ensure there won’t be a void. That’s not love. That’s “Hey, babe! I like you okay. Do you wanna grab lunch? I think we have enough to talk about to fill two hours!" It’s a damn dream when you find someone you can do nothing with. Whether you’re skydiving together or sitting at home and doing different things, it’s always comfortable. That is fucking love. Somebody loves you if they want you to be happy, even if that involves something that doesn’t benefit them. They realize the things you need to do in order to be content and come to terms with the fact that it might not include them. Never underestimate the gift of understanding. When there are so many people who are selfish and equate relationships as something that only must make them happy, having someone around who can take their needs out of any given situation if they need to. Somebody loves you if they can order you food without having to be told what you want. Somebody loves you if they rub your back at any given moment. Somebody loves you if they give you oral sex without expecting anything back. Somebody loves you if they don’t care about your job or how much money you make. It’s a relationship where no one is selling something to the other. No one is the prostitute. Somebody loves you if they’ll watch a movie starring Kate Hudson because you really really want to see it. Somebody loves you if they’re able to create their own separate world with you, away from the internet and your job and family and friends. Just you and them. Somebody will always love you. If you don’t think this is true, then you’re not paying close enough attention.
Ryan O'Connell
I make an attempt to follow Reed’s lead and lighten the mood. “What was your excuse last week when you ate an entire batch of cookies?” “That was just me being hungry. Besides, they were cookies. Who needs an excuse to eat cookies?” “I feel like that’s a sexual question,” Wade chimes in. “And the correct answer is, no one ever needs an excuse to eat cookies.” “You do need permission, though,” Val says tersely, focusing her gaze on Wade for the first time since he sat down. “And if your mouth is all over someone else’s cookies, then other bakers aren’t going to be interested in offering you their cookies.” Then she gets up from the table and stomps off. “Hey!” Wade shouts after her. “I only had those other cookies that one time and only because the baker I wanted to get the cookies from was closed!” He shoots up from his seat and hustles after Val, leaving Easton, Reed, and me staring after them. “I have a feeling they aren’t talking about cookies,” Easton remarks.
Erin Watt (Twisted Palace (The Royals, #3))
I met an Australian who said he loved to travel alone. He talked about his job as we drank by the sea. When a student gets it, when it first breaks across his face, it’s so fucking beautiful, he told me. I nodded, moved, though I’d never taught anyone a single thing. What do you teach, I asked him. Rollerblading, he explained.
Jenny Offill (Dept. of Speculation)
I'm never really comfortable at parties. Maybe I'm just not the partying type. ...I think it's because I'm never sure what to do with myself. I mean, there're drinks, but I don't like being drunk.... There's music, but I never really learned to dance to anything that involved an electric guitar. There are people to talk to...but once you put all the stupid things I do aside, I'm really not that interesting. I like reading, staying home, going on walks with my dog.... Who wants to hear about that? Especially when I would have to scream it over music to which no one dances. So I'm there but not drinking, listening to music but not dancing, and trying to have conversations with near-strangers about anything other than my own stupid life.... Leads to a lot of awkward pauses. And then I start wondering why I showed up in the first place." -- Cold Days (The Dresden Files Book 14), pg. 33
Jim Butcher
You are the commanders, your men will look to you and act as you do. Let no officer keep to himself or his brother officers, but circulate daylong among his men. Let them see you and see you unafraid. Where there is work to do, turn your hand to it first; the men will follow. Some of you, I see, have erected tents. Strike them at once. We will all sleep as I do, in the open. Keep your men busy. If there is no work, make it up, for when soldiers have time to talk, their talk turns to fear. Action, on the other hand, produces the appetite for more action.
Steven Pressfield (Gates of Fire)
So what’s your story, Pidge? Are you a man-hater in general, or do you just hate me?” “I think it’s just you,” I grumbled. He laughed once, amused at my mood. “I can’t figure you out. You’re the first girl that’s ever been disgusted with me before sex. You don’t get all flustered when you talk to me, and you don’t try to get my attention.” “It’s not a ploy. I just don’t like you.” “You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t like me.” My frown involuntarily smoothed and I sighed. “I didn’t say you’re a bad person. I just don’t like being a foregone conclusion for the sole reason of having a vagina.” I focused on the grains of salt on the table until I heard a choking noise from Travis’ direction. His eyes widened and he quivered with howling laughter. “Oh my God! You’re killing me! That’s it. We have to be friends. I won’t take no for an answer.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Here's the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don't know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit. It? I ast. Yeah, It. God ain't a he or a she, but a It. But what do it look like? I ast. Don't look like nothing, she say. It ain't a picture show. It ain't something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you've found It. Shug a beautiful something, let me tell you. She frown a little, look out cross the yard, lean back in her chair, look like a big rose. She say, My first step from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then birds. Then other people. But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you can't miss it. It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high up on my thigh. Shug! I say. Oh, she say. God love all them feelings. That's some of the best stuff God did. And when you know God loves 'em you enjoys 'em a lot more. You can just relax, go with everything that's going, and praise God by liking what you like. God don't think it dirty? I ast. Naw, she say. God made it. Listen, God love everything you love? and a mess of stuff you don't. But more than anything else, God love admiration. You saying God vain? I ast. Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. What it do when it pissed off? I ast. Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. Yeah? I say. Yeah, she say. It always making little surprises and springing them on us when us least expect. You mean it want to be loved, just like the bible say. Yes, Celie, she say. Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk? Well, us talk and talk bout God, but I'm still adrift. Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking bout him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that?) not the color purple (where it come from?). Not the little wildflowers. Nothing. Now that my eyes opening, I feels like a fool. Next to any little scrub of a bush in my yard, Mr. ____s evil sort of shrink. But not altogether. Still, it is like Shug say, You have to git man off your eyeball, before you can see anything a'tall. Man corrupt everything, say Shug. He on your box of grits, in your head, and all over the radio. He try to make you think he everywhere. Soon as you think he everywhere, you think he God. But he ain't. Whenever you trying to pray, and man plop himself on the other end of it, tell him to git lost, say Shug. Conjure up flowers, wind,water, a big rock. But this hard work, let me tell you. He been there so long, he don't want to budge. He threaten lightening, floods and earthquakes. Us fight. I hardly pray at all. Every time I conjure up a rock, I throw it. Amen
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
Healthy people, I have concluded, including myself, do not understand how everything changes once you have been diagnosed with a fatal illness. How you cling to hope, however false, however slight, and how reluctant most doctors are to deprive patients of that fragile beam of light in so much darkness. Indeed, many people develop what psychiatrists call ‘dissociation’ and a doctor can find himself talking to two people – they know that they are dying and yet still hope that they will live. I had noticed the same phenomenon with my mother during the last few days of her life. When faced by people who are dying you are no longer dealing with the rational consumers assumed by economic model-builders, if they ever existed in the first place.
Henry Marsh (Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery)
He says, "But it is really whatever, you know? You've saved me way more times. And we call ourselves friends." It doesn't matter what we call ourselves, really. "You already saved me," I say. "That was nothing." "I'm not talking about the cave." He wrinkles his nose. "That first day," I say, "When you got up on the rocks to flirt with a human boy." He smiles big, with all his ground-down teeth shining.
Hannah Moskowitz (Teeth)
The Telephone When I was just as far as I could walk From here today There was an hour All still When leaning with my head against a flower I heard you talk. Don't say I didn't for I heard you say You spoke from that flower on the window sill- Do you remember what it was you said ' 'First tell me what it was you thought you heard.' 'Having found the flower and driven a bee away I leaned my head And holding by the stalk I listened and I thought I caught the word What was it Did you call me by my name Or did you say Someone said "Come" I heard it as I bowed.' 'I may have thought as much but not aloud.' Well so I came.
Robert Frost (The Poetry of Robert Frost)
He needs to be corrected, if you don’t mind me saying so. He needs a good talking-to, and perhaps a bit more. My own girls, sir, didn’t care for the Overlook at first. One of them actually stole a pack of my matches and tried to burn it down. I corrected them. I corrected them most harshly. And when my wife tried to stop me from doing my duty, I corrected her.
Stephen King (The Shining (The Shining #1))
He had crossed the room with no notion what he might say or do - he had no knowledge of the language of condolence, no skill at social small talk; his metier was business and politics. And yet, when his hostess had introduced them and left, he found himself still holding the hand he had kissed, looking into soft brown eyes that drowned his soul. And without further thought or hesitation had said, 'God help me, I am in love with you.
Diana Gabaldon (Lord John and the Private Matter (Lord John Grey, #1))
There was a time I stopped talking, just like you. My reasons were a little bit different, but... I think the feelings of being ashamed of myself and hating myself... are the same. Here it says "to like yourself." What does that mean? Good things---how are you supposed to find them? I only know things that I hate about myself. Because that's all I know: I hate myself. Even if your force yourself to find good things... it feels so empty. It doesn't work that way. People like your teacher just don't get it. I think... when you hear someone say they like you for the first time... then you can begin to like yourself. I think when someone accepts you for the first time... you feel like you can forgive yourself a little. You can begin to face your fears. ~Yuki
Natsuki Takaya (Fruits Basket, Vol. 5)
So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart. You're an orphan right? [Will nods] Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally... I don't give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you, I can't read in some fuckin' book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting)
When the talk about my troubles was loudest, I did the thing I've always spoken of most . I got still and listened for the answer to What is this here to teach me? The answer, first and foremost? Lay your ego down. Step out of your ego so you can recognize the truth. As soon as I did that, I was able to see the role I had played in creating "my circumstances," without blaming other people. And -- bingo! -- I realized that all the noise about my struggle was a reflection of my personal angst and fear.
Oprah Winfrey
Pandas and rain forests are never mentioned when it comes to the millions of people taking joyrides in their Range Rovers. Rather, it's the little things we're strong-armed into conserving. At a chain coffee bar in San Francisco, I saw a sign near the cream counter that read NAPKINS COME FROM TREES - CONSERVE! In case you missed the first sign, there was a second one two feet away, reading YOU WASTE NAPKINS - YOU WASTE TREES!!! The cups, of course, are also made of paper, yet there's no mention of the mighty redwood when you order your four-dollar coffee. The guilt applies only to those things that are being given away for free.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
Haven't you noticed, too, on the part of nearly everyone you know, a growing rebellion against the present? And an increasing longing for the past? I have. Never before in all my long life have I heard so many people wish that they lived 'at the turn of the century,' or 'when life was simpler,' or 'worth living,' or 'when you could bring children into the world and count on the future,' or simply 'in the good old days.' People didn't talk that way when I was young! The present was a glorious time! But they talk that way now. For the first time in man's history, man is desperate to escape the present. Our newsstands are jammed with escape literature, the very name of which is significant. Entire magazines are devoted to fantastic stories of escape - to other times, past and future, to other worlds and planets - escape to anywhere but here and now. Even our larger magazines, book publishers and Hollywood are beginning to meet the rising demand for this kind of escape. Yes, there is a craving in the world like a thirst, a terrible mass pressure that you can almost feel, of millions of minds struggling against the barriers of time. I am utterly convinced that this terrible mass pressure of millions of minds is already, slightly but definitely, affecting time itself. In the moments when this happens - when the almost universal longing to escape is greatest - my incidents occur. Man is disturbing the clock of time, and I am afraid it will break. When it does, I leave to your imagination the last few hours of madness that will be left to us; all the countless moments that now make up our lives suddenly ripped apart and chaotically tangled in time. Well, I have lived most of my life; I can be robbed of only a few more years. But it seems too bad - this universal craving to escape what could be a rich, productive, happy world. We live on a planet well able to provide a decent life for every soul on it, which is all ninety-nine of a hundred human beings ask. Why in the world can't we have it? ("I'm Scared")
Jack Finney (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940's Until Now)
Remember those dogs I was talking about? The cues? While I was watching TV, I missed a few. Take a look: Steven is smiling, almost laughing. After all the punishment he’s received from my sister over the years, he’s developed quite the sadistic streak when it comes to other people getting their asses handed to them. Then there’s Matthew. God only knows what kind of sick and depraved penalties Delores has inflicted on that poor bastard, because he just looks scared. Kate, on the other hand, is staring at my hand like it’s a cockroach. That she wants to squash. And then she gets an idea—a wonderful, awful idea. If you look hard enough, you can see the light bulb go on above her head. She smiles and leaves the room. I missed all this the first time.
Emma Chase (Tangled Extra Scenes (Tangled, #1.1))
Talking of being eaten by dogs, there’s a dachshund at Brinkley who when you first meet him will give you the impression that he plans to convert you into a light snack between his regular meals. Pay no attention. It’s all eyewash. His belligerent attitude is simply—" Sound and fury signifying nothing, sir?" That’s it. Pure swank. A few civil words, and he will be grappling you . . . What’s the expression I’ve heard you use?" Grappling me to his soul with hoops of steel, sir?" In the first two minutes. He wouldn’t hurt a fly, but he has to put up a front because his name’s Poppet. One can readily appreciate that when a dog hears himself addressed day in and day out as Poppet, he feels he must throw his weight about. Is self-respect demands it." Precisely, sir." You’ll like Poppet. Nice dog. Wears his ears inside out. Why do dachshunds wear their ears inside out?" I could not say, sir." Nor me. I’ve often wondered.
P.G. Wodehouse
Because, Seaweed Brain, it’s the first time we really talked, you and me. I told you about my family, and…” She took out her camp necklace, strung with her dad’s college ring and a colorful clay bead for each year at Camp Half-Blood. Now there was something else on the leather cord: a red coral pendant Percy had given her when they had started dating. He’d brought it from his father’s palace at the bottom of the sea. “And,” Annabeth continued, “it reminds me how long we’ve known each other. We were twelve, Percy. Can you believe that?” “No,” he admitted. “So…you knew you liked me from that moment?” She smirked. “I hated you at first. You annoyed me. Then I tolerated you for a few years. Then—” “Okay, fine.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
I knew,” he continued, “you would do me good in some way, at some time;—I saw it in your eyes when I first beheld you: their expression and smile did not”—(again he stopped)—“did not” (he proceeded hastily) “strike delight to my very inmost heart so for nothing. People talk of natural sympathies; I have heard of good genii: there are grains of truth in the wildest fable. My cherished preserver, goodnight!
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Citizens of Luna, I ask that you stop what you’re doing to listen to this message. My name is Selene Blackburn. I am the daughter of the late Queen Channary, niece to Princess Levana, and the rightful heir to Luna’s throne. You were told that I died thirteen years ago in a nursery fire, but the truth is that my aunt, Levana, did try to kill me, but I was rescued and taken to Earth. There, I have been raised and protected in preparation for the time when I would return to Luna and reclaim my birthright. In my absence, Levana has enslaved you. She takes your sons and turns them into monsters. She takes your shell infants and slaughters them. She lets you go hungry, while the people in Artemisia gorge themselves on rich foods and delicacies. But Levana’s rule is coming to an end. I have returned and I am here to take back what’s mine. Soon, Levana is going to marry Emperor Kaito of Earth and be crowned the empress of the Eastern Commonwealth, an honor that could not be given to anyone less deserving. I refuse to allow Levana to extend her tyranny. I will not stand aside while my aunt enslaves and abuses my people here on Luna, and wages a war across Earth. Which is why, before an Earthen crown can be placed on Levana’s head, I will bring an army to the gates of Artemisia. I ask that you, citizens of Luna, be that army. You have the power to fight against Levana and the people that oppress you. Beginning now, tonight, I urge you to join me in rebelling against this regime. No longer will we obey her curfews or forgo our rights to meet and talk and be heard. No longer will we give up our children to become her disposable guards and soldiers. No longer will we slave away growing food and raising wildlife, only to see it shipped off to Artemisia while our children starve around us. No longer will we build weapons for Levana’s war. Instead, we will take them for ourselves, for our war. Become my army. Stand up and reclaim your homes from the guards who abuse and terrorize you. Send a message to Levana that you will no longer be controlled by fear and manipulation. And upon the commencement of the royal coronation, I ask that all able-bodied citizens join me in a march against Artemisia and the queen’s palace. Together we will guarantee a better future for Luna. A future without oppression. A future in which any Lunar, no matter the sector they live in or the family they were born to, can achieve their ambitions and live without fear of unjust persecution or a lifetime of slavery. I understand that I am asking you to risk your lives. Levana’s thaumaturges are powerful, her guards are skilled, her soldiers are brutal. But if we join together, we can be invincible. They can’t control us all. With the people united into one army, we will surround the capital city and overthrow the imposter who sits on my throne. Help me. Fight for me. And I will be the first ruler in the history of Luna who will also fight for you.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Shoglig was talking shit. That old bitch didn’t know when I was going to die at all. If I’d known that I’d surely have worn more armour.’ Whirrun made a sound somewhere between a cough and a laugh, then winced, coughed, laughed again, winced again. ‘Fuck, it hurts. I mean, you know it will, but, fuck, it really does hurt. Guess you showed me my destiny anyway, eh, Craw?
Joe Abercrombie (The Heroes (First Law World, #5))
She sat silently in her rocking chair. Some people are good at talking, but Granny Weatherwax was good at silence. She could sit so quiet and still that she faded. You forgot she was there. The room became empty. Tiffany thought of it as the I’m-not-here spell, if it was a spell. She reasoned that everyone had something inside them that told the world they were there. That was why you could often sense when someone was behind you, even if they were making no sound at all. You were receiving their I-am-here signal. Some people had a very strong one. They were the people who got served first in shops. Granny Weatherwax had an I-am-here signal that bounced off the mountains when she wanted it to; when she walked into a forest, all the wolves and bears ran out the other side. She could turn it off, too. She was doing that now. Tiffany was having to concentrate to see her. Most of her mind was telling her that there was no one there at all.
Terry Pratchett (Wintersmith (Discworld, #35; Tiffany Aching, #3))
Wanna know what a bullet feels like, Warren? A real one? It’s not like in the comics…I think you need to. Feel it…It’s not going to make a neat little hole. First - it’ll obliterate your internal organs. Your lung will collapse, feels like drowning…When it finally hits your spine, it’ll blow your central nervous system-…I’m talking. The pain will be unbearable, but you won’t be able to move… A bullet usually travels faster than this, of course. But the dying? It seems like it takes forever. Something, isn’t it? One tiny piece of metal destroys everything. It ripped her insides out… It took her light away. From me. From the world… And now the one person who should be here is gone - and a waste like you gets to live. A tiny piece of metal. Can you feel it now?
Joss Whedon
Being older, I began to understand the lyrics. At the beginning, it sounds like a guy is trying to get his girlfriend to secretly meet up with him at midnight. But it’s an odd place for a tryst, a hanging tree, where a man was hung for murder. The murderer’s lover must have had something to do with the killing, or maybe they were just going to punish her anyway, because his corpse called out for her to flee. That’s weird obviously, the talking-corpse bit, but it’s not until the third verse that “The Hanging Tree” begins to get unnerving. You realize the singer of the song is the dead murderer. He’s still in the hanging tree. And even though he told his lover to flee, he keeps asking if she’s coming to meet him. The phrase Where I told you to run, so we’d both be free is the most troubling because at first you think he’s talking about when he told her to flee, presumably to safety. But then you wonder if he meant for her to run to him. To death. In the final stanza, it’s clear that that’s what he was waiting for. His lover, with her rope necklace, hanging dead next to him in the tree. I used to think the murderer was the creepiest guy imaginable. Now, with a couple of trips to the Hunger Games under my belt, I decide not to judge him without knowing more details. Maybe his lover was already sentenced to death and he was trying to make it easier. To let her know he’d be waiting. Or maybe he thought the place he was leaving her was really worse than death. Didn’t I want to kill Peeta with that syringe to save him from the Capitol? Was that really my only option? Probably not, but I couldn’t think of another at the time.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Well, everyone has a friend who holds a very special place in his life. Talking about men…a friend whom you love unconditionally and selflessly.....a friend who knows every secret of your life and who is always the first person whom you want to call when you are in some mess…a friend who tells you exactly what you want to hear. Ena was such a friend to me. My best friend – if that defines the zenith of good friendship. I would rather say, there is no definition of friendship that we shared with each other, the more I explain it, the more complicated it becomes to recite the aspects of our relationship. She was that closer a friend to me, who knew all the nitty-gritties of my life…from every girl who ever came into my life, to passwords of my email accounts or public profiles. Absolutely everything! She was the only girl on earth I trusted blindly and cared for, truly and unconditionally. She was the only girl who could actually make me dance to her beats. We shared that deeper relationship with each other.
Shivam Singh (Best Friends)
I first started liking you when we went to talk to the rulers of the low Courts,” I say. “You were funny, which was weird. And when we went to Hollow Hall, you were clever. I kept remembering how you’d been the one to get us out of the brugh after Dain’s coronation, right before I put that knife to your throat.” He doesn’t try to interrupt, so I have no choice but to barrel on. “After I tricked you into being the High King,” I say. “I thought once you hated me, I could go back to hating you. But I didn’t. And I felt so stupid. I thought I would get my heart broken. I thought it was a weakness that you would use against me. But then you saved me from the Undersea when it would have been much more convenient to just leave me to rot. After that, I started to hope my feelings were returned. But then there was the exile—” I take a ragged breath. “I hid a lot, I guess. I thought if I didn’t, if I let myself love you, I would burn up like a match. Like the whole matchbook.” “But now you’ve explained it,” he says. “And you do love me.” “I love you,” I confirm. “Because I am clever and funny,” he says, smiling. “You didn’t mention my handsomeness.” “Or your deliciousness,” I say. “Although those are both good qualities.
Holly Black (The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3))
I used to think love was two people sucking on the same straw to see whose thirst was stronger, but then I whiffed the crushed walnuts of your nape, traced jackals in the snow-covered tombstones of your teeth. I used to think love was a non-stop saxophone solo in the lungs, till I hung with you like a pair of sneakers from a phone line, and you promised to always smell the rose in my kerosene. I used to think love was terminal pelvic ballet, till you let me jog beside while you pedaled all over hell on the menstrual bicycle, your tongue ripping through my prairie like a tornado of paper cuts. I used to think love was an old man smashing a mirror over his knee, till you helped me carry the barbell of my spirit back up the stairs after my car pirouetted in the desert. You are my history book. I used to not believe in fairy tales till I played the dunce in sheep’s clothing and felt how perfectly your foot fit in the glass slipper of my ass. But then duty wrapped its phone cord around my ankle and yanked me across the continent. And now there are three thousand miles between the u and s in esophagus. And being without you is like standing at a cement-filled wall with a roll of Yugoslavian nickels and making a wish. Some days I miss you so much I’d jump off the roof of your office building just to catch a glimpse of you on the way down. I wish we could trade left eyeballs, so we could always see what the other sees. But you’re here, I’m there, and we have only words, a nightly phone call - one chance to mix feelings into syllables and pour into the receiver, hope they don’t disassemble in that calculus of wire. And lately - with this whole war thing - the language machine supporting it - I feel betrayed by the alphabet, like they’re injecting strychnine into my vowels, infecting my consonants, naming attack helicopters after shattered Indian tribes: Apache, Blackhawk; and West Bank colonizers are settlers, so Sharon is Davey Crockett, and Arafat: Geronimo, and it’s the Wild West all over again. And I imagine Picasso looking in a mirror, decorating his face in war paint, washing his brushes in venom. And I think of Jenin in all that rubble, and I feel like a Cyclops with two eyes, like an anorexic with three mouths, like a scuba diver in quicksand, like a shark with plastic vampire teeth, like I’m the executioner’s fingernail trying to reason with the hand. And I don’t know how to speak love when the heart is a busted cup filling with spit and paste, and the only sexual fantasy I have is busting into the Pentagon with a bazooka-sized pen and blowing open the minds of generals. And I comfort myself with the thought that we’ll name our first child Jenin, and her middle name will be Terezin, and we’ll teach her how to glow in the dark, and how to swallow firecrackers, and to never neglect the first straw; because no one ever talks about the first straw, it’s always the last straw that gets all the attention, but by then it’s way too late.
Jeffrey McDaniel
Jules: Emma? You haven't said anything since we left the church. Emma: You're in love with me. Still. Jules: What are you talking about? Emma: I thought you didn't love me anymore. But that isn't true, is it? Jules: Why are you saying that? Why now? Emma: Because of the church. Because of what happened. We burned a church down, Julian, we melted stone. Jules: What does that have to do with anyhing? Emma: It has everything to do with. You don't understand. You can't. Jules: You're right. I don't understand. I don't understand any of it, Emma. I don't understand why you suddenly decided you didn't want me, you wanted Mark, and then you decided you didn't wnat him either and you dropped him like he was nothing, in fron of everyone. What the hell were you thinking ... Emma: What do you care? What do you care how I feel about Mark? Jules: Because I needed you to love him. Because if you threw me away and everything we had, it had better be for something that meant more to you, it had better be for something real, but maybe none of this is ever real to you ... Emma: Not real to me? You don't know what you're talking about, Julian Blackthron! You don't know what I've given up, what my reasons are for anything, you don't know what I'm trying to do ... Jules: What you're trying to do? How about you did do? How about breaking my heart and breaking Cameron's and breaking Mark's? What, am I missing someone else, some other person whose life you want to wreck forever? Emma: Your life isn't wrecked. You're still alive. You can have a good life! You kissed that faerie girl... Jules: She was a leanansidhe! A shape-shifter! I thought se was you! Emma: Oh. Oh. Jules: Yes, oh. You really think I'm going to fall in love with someon else? You think I get to do that? I'm not you, I don't geet to fall in love every week with someone different. I wish it wasn't you, Emma, but it is, it'll always be you, so don't tell me life isn't wrecked when you don't know the first thing about it!
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
The woods played on our imaginations the most after dark, in our dorms as we were trying to fall asleep. You almost thought then you could hear the wind rustling the branches, and talking about it seemed only to make things worse. I remember one night, when we were furious with Marge K.--she'd done something really embarrassing to us during the day--we chose to punish her by hauling her out of bed, holding her face against the window pane and ordering her to look up at the woods. At first she kept her eyes screwed shut, but we twisted her arms and forced open her eyelids until she saw the distant outline against the moonlit sky, and that was enough to ensure for her a sobbing night of terror.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
I am not a total pervert. Although, to be honest, consider the night we’ve been having. First handcuffs, and now this? Way more kinky than I expected.” “Please,” M’cal said. “Do not talk.” “You like the strong and silent type, huh?” “If you do not shut up, I will kill you with my voice.” “I love it when you talk dirty.” “Fine. Which would you prefer to lose first? Your soul or your testicles?” “You know, you’re just a bit obsessed with chopping off balls. Do you have issues with your masculinity?
Marjorie M. Liu (Soul Song (Dirk and Steele, #6))
Thank you, Mr. Secretary General, UNICEF Executive Director, Excellencies and distinguished guests from across the world. My name is Kim Nam Jun, also known as RM, the leader of the group BTS. It’s an incredible honour to be invited to an occasion with such significance for today’s young generation. Last November, BTS launched the “Love Myself” campaign with UNICEF, building on our belief that “true love first begins with loving myself.” We have been partnering with UNICEF’s #ENDviolence program to protect children and young people all over the world from violence. Our fans have become a major part of this campaign with their action and enthusiasm. We truly have the best fans in the world! I would like to begin by talking about myself. I was born in Ilsan, a city near Seoul, South Korea. It’s a beautiful place, with a lake, hills, and even an annual flower festival. I spent a happy childhood there, and I was just an ordinary boy. I would look up at the night sky in wonder and dream the dreams of a boy. I used to imagine that I was a superhero, saving the world. In an intro to one of our early albums, there is a line that says, “My heart stopped…I was maybe nine or ten.” Looking back, that’s when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes. I stopped looking up at the stars at night. I stopped daydreaming. I tried to jam myself into moulds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and started to listen to the voices of others. No one called out my name, and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. So, like this, I, we, all lost our names. We became like ghosts. I had one sanctuary, and that was music. There was a small voice in me that said, ‘Wake up, man, and listen to yourself!” But it took me a long time to hear music calling my name. Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were hurdles. Most people thought we were hopeless. Sometimes, I just wanted to quit. I think I was very lucky that I didn’t give it all up. I’m sure that I, and we, will keep stumbling and falling. We have become artists performing in huge stadiums and selling millions of albums. But I am still an ordinary, twenty-four-year-old guy. If there’s anything that I’ve achieved, it was only possible because I had my other BTS members by my side, and because of the love and support of our ARMY fans. Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. I am who I am today, with all my faults. Tomorrow I might be a tiny bit wiser, and that’s me, too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become. I would like to say one last thing. After releasing the “Love Yourself” albums and launching the “Love Myself” campaign, we started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world, how our message helped them overcome their hardships in life and start loving themselves. These stories constantly remind us of our responsibility. So, let’s all take one more step. We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to "speak yourself". I would like to ask all of you. What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat? Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice, and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, gender identity: speak yourself. Find your name, find your voice by speaking yourself. I’m Kim Nam Jun, RM of BTS. I’m a hip-hop idol and an artist from a small town in Korea. Like most people, I made many mistakes in my life. I have many faults and I have many fears, but I am going to embrace myself as hard as I can, and I’m starting to love myself, little by little. What is your name? Speak Yourself!
Kim Namjoon
I'm here." St. Clair is angry. "I'm just sorry I'm not there. With you. I wish there was something I could do." "Wanna come beat her up for me?" "I'm packing my throwing stars right now." I sniffle and wipe my nose. "I'm such an idiot. I can't believe I thought he liked me.That's the worst part, knowing he was never even interested." "Bollocks.He was interested." "No,he wasn't," I say. "Bridge said so." "Because she's jealous! Anna, I was there that first night he called you. I've seen how he looked at you in pictures." I protest,but he interrupts. "Any bloke with a working prick would be insane not to like you." There's a shocked pause,on both ends of the line. "Because,of course,of how intelligent you are. And funny.Not that you aren't attractive.Because you are. Attractive. Oh,bugger..." I wait. "Are you still there,or did you hang up because I'm such a bleeding idiot?" "I'm here." "God,you made me work for that." St. Clair said I'm attractive.That's the second time. "You're so easy to talk to," he continues, "that sometimes I forget you're not one of the guys." Scratch that. He thinks I'm Josh. "Just drop it. I can't take being compared to a guy right now-" "That's not what I meant-" "How's your mom? I'm sorry, I've hogged ur entire conversation,and this was supposed to be about her,and I didn't even ask-" "You did ask. It was the first thing you said when you answered. And technically I called you. And I was calling to see how the show went, which is what we've been talking about.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
There is no 'this'. This is nothing." "And I am nothing," Neil prompted. When Andrew gestured confirmation, Neil said, "And as you've always said, you want nothing." Andrew stared stone-faced back at him. Neil would have assumed it a silent rejection of Neil's veiled accusation if Andrew's hand hadn't frozen midair between them. Neil took the bottle from Andrew's other hand and set it off to one side where they couldn't knock it over. "That's a first," Neil said. "Do I get a prize for shutting you up?" "A quick death," Andrew said. "I've already decided where to hide your body." "Six feet under?" Neil guessed. "Stop talking," Andrew said, and kissed him.
Nora Sakavic (The King's Men (All for the Game, #3))
Love made us partners in narcissism, and we talked ceaselessly about how close we were, how perfect our connection was, like we were the first people in history to ever get it exactly right. We were that couple for a while, nauseatingly impervious assholes, busy staring into each other’s eyes while everyone else was trying to have a good time. When I think about how stupid we were, how obstinately clueless about the realities that awaited us, I just want to go back to that skinny, cocksure kid with his bloated heart and perennial erection, and kick his teeth in.
Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You)
You take your flashlight out on your walks, right?” Simon asked. “Depends on the moonlight.” “From now on, take it with you every night. When you’re out walking this way, you’ll pass the gazebo, where, chances are, I will be smoking.” “Then what?” “You can signal—say, three times if you want to take a walk with me. Twice if you want to walk alone. that way I’ll just let you walk on. It’ll be like a military code. No one gets hurt.” I laughed. “that’s silly and charming.” “I try. I can signal back with my cigarette lighter too,” Simon said, holding up the lighter and firing off three short bursts of flame. “So, like, if I see you first and I happen to not wish to talk to you, I can fire off two bursts and block you in your tracks.
Amanda Howells (The Summer of Skinny Dipping (Summer, #1))
Talking frankly about race may make white people uncomfortable. Taking a stand to demonstrate the impact of race on law enforcement is difficult. Look what happened when a National Football League star, protesting discrimination, decided to kneel during the national anthem. Some understood the protest and the right to peacefully demonstrate pursuant to the First Amendment to our Constitution. Others have used the protest to divide us further and rally the white supremacist elements of their constituency. Yes, I am speaking to you, Mr. President, the principal antagonist of racial harmony.
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal In Black (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller #4))
My point is this — you don't know. When I was first here, people looked at my hair, noticed apples on my tray, and thought 'hippie.' Then, from 'hippie' they thought 'druggie.' From there it went to 'will get me in trouble' and 'not worth my time,' and then they stopped thinking at all. No one bothered to find out if what they thought about me was true. No one wanted to hear what I thought. No one cared what I believed in. No one cared about talking to me or asking what my plans were for the day or night. And then came you. Don't let what you think you know make him into what I could have been. Don't become someone who doesn't think, just because you don't like him for some reason. Because, quite frankly, I like how you think. Except for now, of course.
Rebecca McKinsey (Sydney West (Sydney West #1))
And here’s an example of deliberate violation of a Fake Rule:   Fake Rule: The generic pronoun in English is he. Violation: “Each one in turn reads their piece aloud.”   This is wrong, say the grammar bullies, because each one, each person is a singular noun and their is a plural pronoun. But Shakespeare used their with words such as everybody, anybody, a person, and so we all do when we’re talking. (“It’s enough to drive anyone out of their senses,” said George Bernard Shaw.) The grammarians started telling us it was incorrect along in the sixteenth or seventeenth century. That was when they also declared that the pronoun he includes both sexes, as in “If a person needs an abortion, he should be required to tell his parents.” My use of their is socially motivated and, if you like, politically correct: a deliberate response to the socially and politically significant banning of our genderless pronoun by language legislators enforcing the notion that the male sex is the only one that counts. I consistently break a rule I consider to be not only fake but pernicious. I know what I’m doing and why.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story)
We all long to have a relationship so relaxed and intimate that we can share anything and everything without first thinking about it. Who wants to hide out in a relationship in which we can’t allow ourselves to be known? Speaking in our own voice, not in someone else’s, is an undeniably good idea. I’ve yet to meet the person who aspires to be phony or invisible in her closest relationships. The dictate “Be yourself” is a cultural ideal touted everywhere, and luckily, no one else is as qualified for the job.
Harriet Lerner (The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You're Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate)
Tamina serves coffee and calvados to the customers (there aren't all that many, the room being always half empty) and then goes back behind the bar. Almost always there is someone sitting on a barstool, trying to talk to her. Everyone likes Tamina. Because she knows how to listen to people. But is she really listening? Or is she merely looking at them so attentively, so silently? I don't know, and it's not very important. What matters is that she doesn't interrupt anyone. You know what happens when two people talk. One of them speaks and the other breaks in: "It's absolutely the same with me, I..." and starts talking about himself until the first one manages to slip back in with his own "It's absolutely the same with me, I..." The phrase "It's absolutely the same with me, I..." seems to be an approving echo, a way of continuing the other's thought, but that is an illusion: in reality it is a brute revolt against a brutal violence, an effort to free our own ear from bondage and to occupy the enemy's ear by force. Because all of man's life among his kind is nothing other than a battle to seize the ear of others. The whole secret of Tamina's popularity is that she has no desire to talk about herself. She submits to the forces occupying her ear, never saying: "It's absolutely the same with me, I...
Milan Kundera (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting)
I can see what a shock and how lonely it must have been when she went to the United States—from being surrounded by all these people who look like you, talk like you, accept your existence inherently, to living permanently in a place where all the opposites are true. When she first got here, a dentist took one look at her teeth and said she had "the mouth of a caveman." I used to think it was funny, like you might when you read that, but the truth is that American society, while being so rife with opportunity and so incredible in so many ways, also generally made her feel primitive.
Ali Wong (Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life)
Sometimes during the night I'd look at my poor sleeping mother cruelly crucified there in the American night because of no-money, no-hope-of-money, no family, no nothing, just myself the stupid son of plans all of them compacted of eventual darkness. God how right Hemingway was when he said there was no remedy for life - and to think that negative little paper-shuffling prissies should write condescending obituaries about a man who told the truth, nay who drew breath in pain to tell a tale like that! ... No remedy but in my mind I raise a fist to High Heaven promising that I shall bull whip the first bastard who makes fun of human hopelessness anyway - I know it's ridiculous to pray to my father that hunk of dung in a grave yet I pray to him anyway, what else shall I do? sneer? shuffle paper on a desk and burp rationality? Ah thank God for all the Rationalists the worms and vermin got. Thank God for all the hate mongering political pamphleteers with no left or right to yell about in the Grave of Space. I say that we shall all be reborn with the Only One, and that's what makes me go on, and my mother too. She has her rosary in the bus, don't deny her that, that's her way of stating the fact. If there can't be love among men let there be love at least between men and God. Human courage is an opiate but opiates are human too. If God is an opiate so am I. Thefore eat me. Eat the night, the long desolate American between Sanford and Shlamford and Blamford and Crapford, eat the hematodes that hang parasitically from dreary southern trees, eat the blood in the ground, the dead Indians, the dead pioneers, the dead Fords and Pontiacs, the dead Mississippis, the dead arms of forlorn hopelessness washing underneath - Who are men, that they can insult men? Who are these people who wear pants and dresses and sneer? What am I talking about? I'm talking about human helplessness and unbelievable loneliness in the darkness of birth and death and asking 'What is there to laugh about in that?' 'How can you be clever in a meatgrinder?' 'Who makes fun of misery?' There's my mother a hunk of flesh that didn't ask to be born, sleeping restlessly, dreaming hopefully, beside her son who also didn't ask to be born, thinking desperately, praying hopelessly, in a bouncing earthly vehicle going from nowhere to nowhere, all in the night, worst of all for that matter all in noonday glare of bestial Gulf Coast roads - Where is the rock that will sustain us? Why are we here? What kind of crazy college would feature a seminar where people talk about hopelessness, forever?
Jack Kerouac (Desolation Angels)
Above them, one of the blackened television screens brightens, and there's an announcement about the in-flight movie. It's an animated film about a family of ducks, one that Hadley's actually see, and when Oliver groans, shes about to deny the whole thing. But then she twists around in her seat and eyes him critically. "There's nothing wrong with ducks," she tells him, and he rolls his eyes. "Talking ducks?" Hadley grins. "They sing, too." "Don't tell me," he says. "You've already seen it." She holds up two fingers. "Twice." "You do know it's meant for five-year-olds, right?" "Five- to eight-year-olds, thank you very much." "And how old are you again?" "Old enough to appreciate our web-footed friends." "You," he says, laughing in spite of himself, "are a mad as a hatter." "Wait a second," Hadley says in mock horror. "Is that a reference to a...cartoon?" No, genius. It's a reference to a famous work of literature by Lewis Carroll. But once again, I can see how well that American education is working for you.
Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
Isn't that the guy you asked me to throw soda on?" Colton's head jerked up. He stared first at Reece, then at me. "You asked him to throw soda on me?" "Of course not. The boy is delirious, That's what happens to children when they're malnourished. They start hallucinating." I put my hand against Reese's forehead as though checking for a temperature. "I'm afraid he has a serious case of it." Colton folded his arms and continued to glare at me. "No, Charlotte, you have a serious case of it, and I'm not talking about malnourishment." Reese stepped away from my temperature check and toward Colton. "She said you wouldn't melt like the Wicked Witch of the West, but you might fizz a little." Reese turned back to me. "He never did fizz." "I'm about to," Colton said. "Just watch for a few more seconds.
Janette Rallison (It's a Mall World After All)
it’s a terrible feeling when you first fall in love. your mind gets completely taken over, you can’t function properly anymore. the world turns into a dream place, nothing seems real. you forget your keys, no one seems to be talking English and even if they are you don’t care as you can’t hear what they’re saying anyway, and it doesn’t matter since your not really there. things you cared about before don’t seem to matter anymore and things you didn’t think you cared about suddenly do. I must become a brilliant cook, I don’t want to waste time seeing my friends when I could be with him, I feel no sympathy for all those people in India killed by an earthquake last night; what is the matter with me? It’s a kind of hell, but you feel like your in heaven. even your body goes out of control, you can’t eat, you don’t sleep properly, your legs turn to jelly as your not sure where the floor is anymore. you have butterflies permanently, not only in your tummy but all over your body - your hands, your shoulders, your chest, your eyes everything’s just a jangling mess of nerve endings tingling with fire. it makes you feel so alive. and yet its like being suffocated, you don’t seem to be able to see or hear anything real anymore, its like people are speaking to you through treacle, and so you stay in your cosy place with him, the place that only you two understand. occasionally your forced to come up for air by your biggest enemy, Real Life, so you do the minimum then head back down under your love blanket for more, knowing it’s uncomfortable but compulsory. and then, once you think you’ve got him, the panic sets in. what if he goes off me? what if I blow it, say the wrong thing? what if he meets someone better than me? Prettier, thinner, funnier, more like him? who doesn’t bite there nails? perhaps he doesn’t feel the same, maybe this is all in my head and this is just a quick fling for him. why did I tell him that stupid story about not owning up that I knew who spilt the ink on the teachers bag and so everyone was punished for it? does he think I'm a liar? what if I'm not very good at that blow job thing and he’s just being patient with me? he says he loves me; yes, well, we can all say words, can’t we? perhaps he’s just being polite. of course you do your best to keep all this to yourself, you don’t want him to think you're a neurotic nutcase, but now when he’s away doing Real Life it’s agony, your mind won’t leave you alone, it tortures you and examines your every moment spent together, pointing out how stupid you’ve been to allow yourself to get this carried away, how insane you are to imagine someone would feel like that about you. dad did his best to reassure me, but nothing he said made a difference - it was like I wanted to see Simon, but didn’t want him to see me.
Annabel Giles (Birthday Girls)
I laughed when she said “utilize” and she said “what?” and I said “just utilize, it’s a meaningless word” and then she tried to tell me that it “communicated” something different from the word “use” and the way she looked at me, chuckling, glancing over at James like “oh, how sweet, it tried to talk,” made me so mad that I might have said, maybe, something along the lines of “yeah, it communicates something, it’s a real first-gen-college-grad kind of word, like your parents are small-town conservative Christians who didn’t have any books in the house, and you’re self-conscious about your upbringing so you want to stand out by using elitist intellectual language, but you don’t actually know any long words, so you just truss up the word ‘use’ for no fucking reason other than to try to make people feel like you’re the one with the big mental dick, even though ‘utilize’ is basically just administrative jargon and completely déclassé to them that knows.
Halle Butler (The New Me)
My friend once told me she liked this guy because of his hands And I found it absurd that anyone would develop feelings over one feature, and not care about the rest It wasn’t until you used your hands to cup the back of my neck the first time we kissed and I could feel your firm grasp pull me closer, and my insides exploded and my head buzzed with bliss. And the first night you slept over, you fell asleep with your hand laid over my stomach and your fingers felt like a fire that I didn’t mind burning my skin. The first time we got drunk, was the first time you played with my hair, and my god I was hooked, I’d drink forever if it meant you’d never stop. And in public you’d hold my hand, and rub your thumb in little circles that left me wanting you more, no matter what you would never let me go, I was glued to you, and I honestly didn’t mind When we talked about breaking up, you saw my lips quiver with fear, and you brushed over my lips with your fingers before pulling me into your lap and you kissed me like never before. With your hands on my hips pulling me so close to you, leaving no space in between us. It was then I realized I never wanted you to go Its now that, I finally understand why hands were the only feature that mattered.
Carol Shlyakhova
As Jimmy Boggs used to remind us, revolutions are made out of love for people and for place. He often talked about loving America enough to change it. 'I love this country,' he used to say, 'not only because my ancestors' blood is in the soil but because of what I believe it can become.' Love isn't just something you feel. It's something you do everyday when you go out and pick the paper and bottles scattered the night before on the corner, when you stop and talk to a neighbor, when you argue passionately for what you believe in with whoever will listen, when you call a friend to see how they're doing, when you write a letter to the newspaper, when you give a speech and give 'em hell, when you never stop believing that we can all be more than what we are. In other words, Love isn't about what we did yesterday; it's about what we do today and tomorrow and the day after.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
Do not despise your inner world. That is the first and most general piece of advice I would offer… Our society is very outward-looking, very taken up with the latest new object, the latest piece of gossip, the latest opportunity for self-assertion and status. But we all begin our lives as helpless babies, dependent on others for comfort, food, and survival itself. And even though we develop a degree of mastery and independence, we always remain alarmingly weak and incomplete, dependent on others and on an uncertain world for whatever we are able to achieve. As we grow, we all develop a wide range of emotions responding to this predicament: fear that bad things will happen and that we will be powerless to ward them off; love for those who help and support us; grief when a loved one is lost; hope for good things in the future; anger when someone else damages something we care about. Our emotional life maps our incompleteness: A creature without any needs would never have reasons for fear, or grief, or hope, or anger. But for that very reason we are often ashamed of our emotions, and of the relations of need and dependency bound up with them. Perhaps males, in our society, are especially likely to be ashamed of being incomplete and dependent, because a dominant image of masculinity tells them that they should be self-sufficient and dominant. So people flee from their inner world of feeling, and from articulate mastery of their own emotional experiences. The current psychological literature on the life of boys in America indicates that a large proportion of boys are quite unable to talk about how they feel and how others feel — because they have learned to be ashamed of feelings and needs, and to push them underground. But that means that they don’t know how to deal with their own emotions, or to communicate them to others. When they are frightened, they don’t know how to say it, or even to become fully aware of it. Often they turn their own fear into aggression. Often, too, this lack of a rich inner life catapults them into depression in later life. We are all going to encounter illness, loss, and aging, and we’re not well prepared for these inevitable events by a culture that directs us to think of externals only, and to measure ourselves in terms of our possessions of externals. What is the remedy of these ills? A kind of self-love that does not shrink from the needy and incomplete parts of the self, but accepts those with interest and curiosity, and tries to develop a language with which to talk about needs and feelings. Storytelling plays a big role in the process of development. As we tell stories about the lives of others, we learn how to imagine what another creature might feel in response to various events. At the same time, we identify with the other creature and learn something about ourselves. As we grow older, we encounter more and more complex stories — in literature, film, visual art, music — that give us a richer and more subtle grasp of human emotions and of our own inner world. So my second piece of advice, closely related to the first, is: Read a lot of stories, listen to a lot of music, and think about what the stories you encounter mean for your own life and lives of those you love. In that way, you will not be alone with an empty self; you will have a newly rich life with yourself, and enhanced possibilities of real communication with others.
Martha C. Nussbaum
You don't like me talking to other girls?" "I don't like you grinning at them."Teagan admitted "Then tame me with your fine Irish eyes, girl." "Humph." "You have nothing to worry about. You've had my heart since..." "When?" "I was just trying to sort it, " Fin said. "It could have been the time you explained how its cockles were related to a shellfish." he paused. "No, it was when you flat refused to kiss me-- and me thinking I'd never see you agina, risking my kife to lead the goblins away into the night. It was heroic. And sad." Teagan punched his arm. "All right." He smiled. "It was the first time I set eyes on you. My heart stopped beating, and that's a fact." "I know," Teagan said. "The first time I met you, it made me throw up." Finn knit his brows. "I'll never get over how romantic you are. It's like you've stepped right out of one of those fairy movies Aiden's making Roisin watch.
Kersten Hamilton (In the Forests of the Night (Goblin Wars, #2))
What I wanted to talk to you about was—” He kissed me. At first he gently touched his lips to mine. e more exciting development was that in order to do this, he’d stepped very close. His chest was an inch from mine. I could feel his heat. He tasted of blackberries. He leaned even closer and braced his muscular arms on the tree on either side of me. When he broke the kiss to take a breath, I whispered, “Tree hugger.” He opened his eyes, blue as the afternoon sky, and gave me this look. A combination of amusement and exasperation and hunger. He looked like a teenager making out in the woods. Puzzling through this, I realized that I was gazing at him from the perspective of a six-year-old girl playing army and dodging rubber snakes. But he was this teenager, and so was I. I felt the same need for him that he felt for me, like a force was drawing me forward into his heat. I just didn’t know how to say it.
Jennifer Echols (Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2))
I have found that there are three key steps to identifying your own core personal projects. First, think back to what you loved to do when you were a child. How did you answer the question of what you wanted to be when you grew up? The specific answer you gave may have been off the mark, but the underlying impulse was not. If you wanted to be a fireman, what did a fireman mean to you? A good man who rescued people in distress? A daredevil? Or the simple pleasure of operating a truck? If you wanted to be a dancer, was it because you got to wear a costume, or because you craved applause, or was it the pure joy of twirling around at lightning speed? You may have known more about who you were then than you do now. Second, pay attention to the work you gravitate to. At my law firm I never once volunteered to take on an extra corporate legal assignment, but I did spend a lot of time doing pro bono work for a nonprofit women’s leadership organization. I also sat on several law firm committees dedicated to mentoring, training, and personal development for young lawyers in the firm. Now, as you can probably tell from this book, I am not the committee type. But the goals of those committees lit me up, so that’s what I did. Finally, pay attention to what you envy. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You mostly envy those who have what you desire.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
I smoothed Colton’s blanket across his chest and tucked him in snug the way he liked—and for the first time since he started talking about heaven, I intentionally tried to trip him up. “I remember you saying you stayed with Pop,” I said. “So when it got dark and you went home with Pop, what did you two do?” Suddenly serious, Colton scowled at me. “It doesn’t get dark in heaven, Dad! Who told you that?” I held my ground. “What do you mean it doesn’t get dark?” “God and Jesus light up heaven. It never gets dark. It’s always bright.” The joke was on me. Not only had Colton not fallen for the “when it gets dark in heaven” trick, but he could tell me why it didn’t get dark: “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
Todd Burpo (Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back)
Everything’s gonna go to shit eventually, Sam.” She reaches out and plucks a loose thread off the front of my sweater. “I wish you’d stay away from us. Go somewhere safe. When it’s over, maybe things could be different . . .” I let loose with an incredulous laugh. “Ugh, seriously? That’s, like, the kind of crap that Spider-Man tells Mary Jane when he’s trying to break it off with her. Do you know how embarrassing it is to be talked to like I’m some superhero’s girlfriend?” Six laughs too, shaking her head. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it that way. I’m just realizing what a hypocrite I’m being. This is exactly the opposite of the advice I gave to John about Sarah.” “Maybe you’re right and things are going to get bad,” I say. “But that doesn’t mean you should cut yourself off. Being all about the war all the time? That can’t be good. Maybe you should spend like ninety-five percent of your time as Six and, uh, five percent with me, being Maren.” I didn’t plan that little speech; Six’s old human name just pops out. Her mouth opens a bit, but she doesn’t say anything at first, the name catching her off guard. “Maren,” she whispers. “I’m not sure I even remember how to be her.
Pittacus Lore (The Fall of Five (Lorien Legacies, #4))
I may not have known much about pregnancies but I knew that you couldn’t have a son or a daughter without actually doing it first. The priests at school had once muttered something to the effect that when a mummy and a daddy loved each other very much, they lay close together and the Holy Spirit descended upon them to create the miracle of new life. (Charles, in his one attempt at a man-to-man talk with me, had put it rather differently. ‘Get her kit off,’ he said. ‘Play with her tits a bit, because the ladies love that. Then just stick your cock in her pussy and ram it in and out a bit. Don’t hang around too long in there – it’s not a bloody train station. Just do your business and get on with your day.’ It’s no wonder he managed to secure so many wives, the old romantic.) I
John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies)
I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn't a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean of time... For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout camp, watching falling stars... And yellow leaves, from the maple trees, that lined our street... Or my grandmother's hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper... And the first time I saw my cousin Tony's brand new Firebird... And Janie... And Janie... And... Carolyn. I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me... but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life... You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday.
Alan Ball
I don’t have any regrets,” a famous movie actor said in an interview I recently witnessed. “I’d live everything over exactly the same way.” “That’s really pathetic,” the talk show host said. “Are you seeking help?” “Yeah. My shrink says we’re making progress. Before, I wouldn’t even admit that I would live it all over,” the actor said, starting to choke up. “I thought one life was satisfying enough.” “My God,” the host said, cupping his hand to his mouth. “The first breakthrough was when I said I would live it over, but only in my dreams. Nocturnal recurrence.” “You’re like the character in that one movie of yours. What’s it called? You know, the one where you eat yourself.” “The Silence of Sam.” “That’s it. Can you do the scene?” The actor lifts up his foot to stick it in his mouth. I reach over from my seat and help him to fit it into his bulging cheeks. The audience goes wild.
Benson Bruno (A Story That Talks about Talking Is Like Chatter to Chattering Teeth, and Every Set of Dentures Can Attest to the Fact That No..)
What are you doing here?" He takes a deep breath. "I came for you." "And how on EARTH did you know I was up here?" "I saw you." He pauses. "I came to make another wish,and I was standing on Point Zero when I saw you enter the tower. I called your name,and you looked around,but you didn't see me." "So you decided to just...come up?" I'm doubtful,despite the evidence in front of me.It must have taken superhuman strength for him to make it past the first flight of stairs alone. "I had to.I couldn't wait for you to come down,I couldn't wait any longer. I had to see you now.I have to know-" He breaks off,and my pulse races. What what what? "Why did you lie to me?" The question startles me.Not what I was expecting.Nor hoping.He's still on the ground,but he stares up at me.His brown eyes are huge and heartbroken. I'm confused. "I'm sorry, I don't know what-" "November.At the creperie. I asked you if we'd talked about anything strange that night I was drunk in your room.If I had said anything about our relationship,or my relationship with Ellie.And you said no." Oh my God. "How did you know?" "Josh told me." "When?" "November." I'm stunned. "I...I..." My throat is dry. "If you'd seen the look on your face that day.In the restaurant. How could I possibly tell you? With your mother-" "But if you had,I wouldn't have wasted all of these months.I thought you were turning me down.I thought you weren't interested." "But you were drunk! You had a girlfriend! What was I supposed to do? God,St. Clair,I didn't even know if you meant it." "Of course I meant it." He stands,and his legs falter. "Careful!" Step.Step.Step. He toddles toward me,and I reach for his hand to guide him.We're so close to the edge. He sits next to me and grips my hand harder. "I meant it,Anna.I mean it." "I don't under-" He's exasperated. "I'm saying I'm in love with you! I've been in love with you this whole bleeding year!" My mind spins. "But Ellie-" "I cheated on her every day.In my mind, I thought of you in ways I shouldn't have,again and again. She was nothing compared to you.I've never felt this way about anybody before-" "But-" "The first day of school." He scoots closer. "We weren't physics partners by accident.I saw Professeur Wakefield assigning lab partners based on where people were sitting,so I leaned forward to borrow a pencil from you at just the right moment so he'd think we were next to each other.Anna,I wanted to be your partner the first day." "But..." I can't think straight. "I doubt you love poetry! 'I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly,between the shadow and the soul.'" I blink at him. "Neruda.I starred the passage.God," he moans. "Why didn't you open it?" "Because you said it was for school." "I said you were beautiful.I slept in your bed!" "You never mave a move! You had a girlfriend!" "No matter what a terrible boyfriend I was,I wouldn't actually cheat on her. But I thought you'd know.With me being there,I thought you'd know." We're going in circles. "How could I know if you never said anything?" "How could I know if you never said anyting?" "You had Ellie!" "You had Toph! And Dave!
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Chess and you taking a picture of me reading Slaughterhouse-Five, telling me I’d need proof someday because nobody in Creek View would ever believe I had actually read a goddamn book, let alone five. Talking about God and why there’s evil in the world and bitching because the Steelers won the Super Bowl. Camp Leatherneck, me not missing home at all and you missing it like crazy, always talking about going to college and how when you had leave you were gonna marry Hannah. And you wanted kids, and I said I didn’t because people like me, we just end up disappointing one another and I’d probably be like my dad, and you told me I had to get over it, get over my dad and my mom and how screwed up everything is because you said, Josh, you’re gonna have it all. I know it. You’re gonna have it all. And for the first time, I’m almost believing that.
Heather Demetrios (I'll Meet You There)
The all-powerful Zahir seemed to be born with every human being and to gain full strength in childhood, imposing rules that would thereafter always be respected: People who are different are dangerous; they belong to another tribe; they want our lands and our women. We must marry, have children, reproduce the species. Love is only a small thing, enough for one person, and any suggestion that the heart might be larger than this may seem perverse. When we are married we are authorised to take possession of the other person, body and soul. We must do jobs we detest because we are part of an organised society, and if everyone did what they wanted to do, the world would come to a standstill. We must buy jewelry; it identifies us with our tribe. We must be amusing at all times and sneer at those who express their real feelings; it's dangerous for a tribe to allow its members to show their feelings. We must at all costs avoid saying no because people prefer those who always say yes, and this allows us to survive in hostile territory. What other people think is more important than what we feel. Never make a fuss--it might attract the attention of an enemy tribe. If you behave differently you will be expelled from the tribe because you could infect others and destroy something that was extremely difficult to organise in the first place. We must always consider the look of our new cave, and if we don't have a clear idea of our own, then we must call a decorator who will do his best to show others what good taste we have. We must eat three meals a day, even if we're not hungry, and when we fail to fit the current ideal of beauty we must fast, even if we're starving. We must dress according to the dictates of fashion, make love whether we feel like it or not, kill in the name of our country, wish time away so that retirement comes more quickly, elect politicians, complain about the cost of living, change our hair-style, criticise anyone who is different, go to a religious service on Sunday, Saturday or Friday, depending on our religion, and there beg forgiveness for our sins and puff ourselves up with pride because we know the truth and despise he other tribe, who worship false gods. Our children must follow in our footsteps; after all we are older and know more about the world. We must have a university degree even if we never get a job in the area of knowledge we were forced to study. We must never make our parents sad, even if this means giving up everything that makes us happy. We must play music quietly, talk quietly, weep in private, because I am the all-powerful Zahir, who lays down the rules and determines the meaning of success, the best way to love, the importance of rewards.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
Bianca, Since you keep running away from me at school, and, if I remember correctly, the sound of my voice causes you to have suicidal thoughts, I decided a letter might be the best way to tell you how I feel. Just hear me out. I’m not going to deny that you were right. Everything you said the other day was true. But my fear of being alone is not the reason I’m pursuing you. I know how cynical you are, and you’re probably going to come up with some snarky reply when you read this, but the truth is, I’m chasing you because I really think I am falling in love with you. You are the first girl who has ever seen right through me. You’re the only girl who has ever called me on my bullshit. You put me in my place, but, at the same time, you understand me better than anyone ever has. You are the only person brave enough to criticize me. Maybe the only person who looks close enough to find my faults—and, clearly, you’ve found many. I called my parents. They’re coming home this weekend to talk to Amy and me. I was afraid to do this at first, but you inspired me. Without you, I never could have done that. I think about you much more than any self-respecting man would like to admit, and I’m insanely jealous of Tucker—something I never thought I’d say. Moving on after you is impossible. No other girl can keep me on my toes the way you can. No one else makes me WANT to embarrass myself by writing sappy letters like this one. Only you. But I know that I’m right, too. I know you’re in love with me, even if you are dating Tucker. You can lie to yourself if you want, but reality is going to catch up with you. I’ll be waiting when it does… whether you like it or not. Love, Wesley p.s.: I know you’re rolling your eyes right now, but I don’t care. Honestly, it’s always been kind of a turn-on.
Kody Keplinger (The Duff (Hamilton High, #1))
Like you?” My face twisted in abhorrence, spitting the words like they were revolting. Her eyes widened. I shook my head, a dark chuckle on my lips. “You think I fucking like you? Are you kidding me here? I don’t like you. I love you. Even that’s an under-fucking-statement. I live for you. I breathe for you. I will die for you. It. Has. Always. Been. You. Ever since I saw your sorry ass for the first time on that threshold and you fucking poked me in the chest like I was a toy. We’ve been apart for ten years, Rose LeBlanc, and not even one day has passed without me thinking of you. And not just in passing. You know, the occasional she-could-have-been-a-g reat-fuck. I mean really taking my time to think about you. Wondering what you looked like. Where youwere. What you were doing. Who you were with. I stalked you on Facebook. And Twitter—which, by the way, you need to deactivate because you never once bothered to tweet—but you aren’t exactly a social media animal. I asked about you. Every time I was in town. And once I realized you were in New York with Millie…” “Rosie, I bought a new penthouse in TriBeca a few months before you moved into our building.” “Why are you telling me this?” She blinked away her tears, but fresh ones rolled down to replace them time. “Because I had to sell it and lost a shit-ton of money the moment I realized you were going to be my neighbor if I stayed in my current place. Real talk, Rosie, you are all I ever wanted. Even when you wanted me to be with your sister. She was a comforting candle. You were the dazzling sun. I’d lived in the dark—for your selfish ass. And if you think I’m going to settle for something , you’re dead wrong. I am taking everything . We will have kids, Rose LeBlanc. We will have a wedding. And we will have joy and vacations and days where we just fuck and days where we just fight and days where we just live. Because this is life, Baby LeBlanc, and I love the fuck out of you, so I’m going to give you the best one there is. Got it?
L.J. Shen (Ruckus (Sinners of Saint, #2))
THEY FOUND LEO AT THE TOP of the city fortifications. He was sitting at an open-air café, overlooking the sea, drinking a cup of coffee and dressed in…wow. Time warp. Leo’s outfit was identical to the one he’d worn the day they first arrived at Camp Half-Blood—jeans, a white shirt, and an old army jacket. Except that jacket had burned up months ago. Piper nearly knocked him out of his chair with a hug. “Leo! Gods, where have you been?” “Valdez!” Coach Hedge grinned. Then he seemed to remember he had a reputation to protect and he forced a scowl. “You ever disappear like that again, you little punk, I’ll knock you into next month!” Frank patted Leo on the back so hard it made him wince. Even Nico shook his hand. Hazel kissed Leo on the cheek. “We thought you were dead!” Leo mustered a faint smile. “Hey, guys. Nah, nah, I’m good.” Jason could tell he wasn’t good. Leo wouldn’t meet their eyes. His hands were perfectly still on the table. Leo’s hands were never still. All the nervous energy had drained right out of him, replaced by a kind of wistful sadness. Jason wondered why his expression seemed familiar. Then he realized Nico di Angelo had looked the same way after facing Cupid in the ruins of Salona. Leo was heartsick. As the others grabbed chairs from the nearby tables, Jason leaned in and squeezed his friend’s shoulder. “Hey, man,” he said, “what happened?” Leo’s eyes swept around the group. The message was clear: Not here. Not in front of everyone. “I got marooned,” Leo said. “Long story. How about you guys? What happened with Khione?” Coach Hedge snorted. “What happened? Piper happened! I’m telling you, this girl has skills!” “Coach…” Piper protested. Hedge began retelling the story, but in his version Piper was a kung fu assassin and there were a lot more Boreads. As the coach talked, Jason studied Leo with concern. This café had a perfect view of the harbor. Leo must have seen the Argo II sail in. Yet he sat here drinking coffee—which he didn’t even like—waiting for them to find him. That wasn’t like Leo at all. The ship was the most important thing in his life. When he saw it coming to rescue him, Leo should have run down to the docks, whooping at the top of his lungs. Coach Hedge was just describing how Piper had defeated Khione with a roundhouse kick when Piper interrupted. “Coach!” she said. “It didn’t happen like that at all. I couldn’t have done anything without Festus.” Leo raised his eyebrows. “But Festus was deactivated.” “Um, about that,” Piper said. “I sort of woke him up.” Piper explained her version of events—how she’d rebooted the metal dragon with charmspeak.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
What is a Gallagher Girl?” Liz asked. She looked nervously down at the papers in her hand even though I knew for a fact she had memorized every word. “When I was eleven I thought I knew the answer to that question. That was when the recruiters came to see me. They showed me brochures and told me they were impressed by my test scores and asked if I was ready to be challenged. And I said yes. Because that was what a Gallagher Girl was to me then, a student at the toughest school in the world.” She took a deep breath and talked on. “What is a Gallagher Girl?” Liz asked again. “When I was thirteen I thought I knew the answer to that question. That was when Dr. Fibs allowed me to start doing my own experiments in the lab. I could go anywhere—make anything. Do anything my mind could dream up. Because I was a Gallagher Girl. And, to me, that meant I was the future.” Liz took another deep breath. “What is a Gallagher Girl?” This time, when Liz asked it, her voice cracked. “When I was seventeen I stood on a dark street in Washington, D.C., and watched one Gallagher Girl literally jump in front of a bullet to save the life of another. I saw a group of women gather around a girl whom they had never met, telling the world that if any harm was to come to their sister, it had to go through them first.” Liz straightened. She no longer had to look down at her paper as she said, “What is a Gallagher Girl? I’m eighteen now, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that I don’t really know the answer to that question. Maybe she is destined to be our first international graduate and take her rightful place among Her Majesty’s Secret Service with MI6.” I glanced to my right and, call me crazy, but I could have sworn Rebecca Baxter was crying. “Maybe she is someone who chooses to give back, to serve her life protecting others just as someone once protected her.” Macey smirked but didn’t cry. I got the feeling that Macey McHenry might never cry again. “Who knows?” Liz asked. “Maybe she’s an undercover journalist.” I glanced at Tina Walters. “An FBI agent.” Eva Alvarez beamed. “A code breaker.” Kim Lee smiled. “A queen.” I thought of little Amirah and knew somehow that she’d be okay. “Maybe she’s even a college student.” Liz looked right at me. “Or maybe she’s so much more.” Then Liz went quiet for a moment. She too looked up at the place where the mansion used to stand. “You know, there was a time when I thought that the Gallagher Academy was made of stone and wood, Grand Halls and high-tech labs. When I thought it was bulletproof, hack-proof, and…yes…fireproof. And I stand before you today happy for the reminder that none of those things are true. Yes, I really am. Because I know now that a Gallagher Girl is not someone who draws her power from that building. I know now with scientific certainty that it is the other way around.” A hushed awe descended over the already quiet crowd as she said this. Maybe it was the gravity of her words and what they meant, but for me personally, I like to think it was Gilly looking down, smiling at us all. “What is a Gallagher Girl?” Liz asked one final time. “She’s a genius, a scientist, a heroine, a spy. And now we are at the end of our time at school, and the one thing I know for certain is this: A Gallagher Girl is whatever she wants to be.” Thunderous, raucous applause filled the student section. Liz smiled and wiped her eyes. She leaned close to the microphone. “And, most of all, she is my sister.
Ally Carter (United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6))
But sometimes, very occasionally, songs and books and films and pictures express who you are perfectly. And they don’t do this in words or images, necessarily; the connection is a lot less direct and more complicated than that. When I was first beginning to write seriously, I read Anne Tyler’s Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, and suddenly knew what I was, and what I wanted to be, for better or worse. It’s a process something like falling in love. You don’t necessarily choose the best person, or the wisest, or the most beautiful; there’s something else going on. There was a part of me that would rather have fallen for Updike or Kerouac, or DeLillo – for someone masculine, or at least, maybe somebody a little more opaque, and certainly someone who uses more swearwords- and, though I have admired those writers, at various stages in my life, admiration is a very different thing from the kind of transference I’m talking about. I’m talking about understanding – or at least feeling like I understand- every artistic decision, every impulse, the soul of both the work and its creator. “This is me,” I wanted to say when I read Tyler’s rich, sad, lovely novel. “I’m not a character, I’m nothing like the author, I haven’t had the experiences she writes about. But even so, this is what I feel like, inside. This is what I would sound like, if I ever I were to find a voice.” And I did find a voice, eventually, and it was mine, not hers; but nevertheless, so powerful was the process of identification that I still don’t feel as though I’ve expressed myself as well, as completely, as Tyler did on my behalf.
Nick Hornby (Songbook)
Actually, what does man live for?” “To think about it. Any other question?” “Yes. Why does he die just when he has done that and has become a bit more sensible?” “Some people die without having become more sensible.” “Don’t evade my question. And don’t start talking about the transmigration of souls.” “I’ll ask you something else first. Lions kill antelopes; spiders flies; foxes chickens; which is the only race in the world that wars on itself uninterruptedly, fighting and killing one another?” “Those are questions for children. The crown of creation, of course, the human being— who invented the words love, kindness, and mercy.” “Good. And who is the only being in Nature that is capable of committing suicide and does it?” “Again the human being— who invented eternity, God, and resurrection.” “Excellent,” Ravic said. “You see of how many contradictions we consist. And you want to know why we die?
Erich Maria Remarque (Arch of Triumph: A Novel of a Man Without a Country)
there was a sort of embarrassment about storytelling that struck home powerfully about one hundred years ago, at the beginning of modernism. We see a similar reaction in painting and in music. It's a preoccupation suddenly with the surface rather than the depth. So you get, for example, Picasso and Braque making all kinds of experiments with the actual surface of the painting. That becomes the interesting thing, much more interesting than the thing depicted, which is just an old newspaper, a glass of wine, something like that. In music, the Second Viennese School becomes very interested in what happens when the surface, the diatonic structure of the keys breaks down, and we look at the notes themselves in a sort of tone row, instead of concentrating on things like tunes, which are sort of further in, if you like. That happened, of course, in literature, too, with such great works as James Joyce's Ulysses, which is all about, really, how it's told. Not so much about what happens, which is a pretty banal event in a banal man's life. It's about how it's told. The surface suddenly became passionately interesting to artists in every field about a hundred years ago. In the field of literature, story retreated. The books we talked about just now, Middlemarch, Bleak House, Vanity Fair -- their authors were the great storytellers as well as the great artists. After modernism, things changed. Indeed, modernism sometimes seems to me like an equivalent of the Fall. Remember, the first thing Adam and Eve did when they ate the fruit was to discover that they had no clothes on. They were embarrassed. Embarrassment was the first consequence of the Fall. And embarrassment was the first literary consequence of this modernist discovery of the surface. "Am I telling a story? Oh my God, this is terrible. I must stop telling a story and focus on the minute gradations of consciousness as they filter through somebody's..." So there was a great split that took place. Story retreated, as it were, into genre fiction-into crime fiction, into science fiction, into romantic fiction-whereas the high-art literary people went another way. Children's books held onto the story, because children are rarely interested in surfaces in that sort of way. They're interested in what-happened and what-happened next. I found it a great discipline, when I was writing The Golden Compass and other books, to think that there were some children in the audience. I put it like that because I don't say I write for children. I find it hard to understand how some writers can say with great confidence, "Oh, I write for fourth grade children" or "I write for boys of 12 or 13." How do they know? I don't know. I would rather consider myself in the rather romantic position of the old storyteller in the marketplace: you sit down on your little bit of carpet with your hat upturned in front of you, and you start to tell a story. Your interest really is not in excluding people and saying to some of them, "No, you can't come, because it's just for so-and-so." My interest as a storyteller is to have as big an audience as possible. That will include children, I hope, and it will include adults, I hope. If dogs and horses want to stop and listen, they're welcome as well.
Philip Pullman
Dear Deborah, Words do not come easily for so many men. We are taught to be strong, to provide, to put away our emotions. A father can work his way through his days and never see that his years are going by. If I could go back in time, I would say some things to that young father as he holds, somewhat uncertainly, his daughter for the very first time. These are the things I would say: When you hear the first whimper in the night, go to the nursery leaving your wife sleeping. Rock in a chair, walk the floor, sing a lullaby so that she will know a man can be gentle. When Mother is away for the evening, come home from work, do the babysitting. Learn to cook a hotdog or a pot of spaghetti, so that your daughter will know a man can serve another's needs. When she performs in school plays or dances in recitals, arrive early, sit in the front seat, devote your full attention. Clap the loudest, so that she will know a man can have eyes only for her. When she asks for a tree house, don't just build it, but build it with her. Sit high among the branches and talk about clouds, and caterpillars, and leaves. Ask her about her dreams and wait for her answers, so that she will know a man can listen. When you pass by her door as she dresses for a date, tell her she is beautiful. Take her on a date yourself. Open doors, buy flowers, look her in the eye, so that she will know a man can respect her. When she moves away from home, send a card, write a note, call on the phone. If something reminds you of her, take a minute to tell her, so that she will know a man can think of her even when she is away. Tell her you love her, so that she will know a man can say the words. If you hurt her, apologize, so that she will know a man can admit that he's wrong. These seem like such small things, such a fraction of time in the course of two lives. But a thread does not require much space. It can be too fine for the eye to see, yet, it is the very thing that binds, that takes pieces and laces them into a whole. Without it, there are tatters. It is never too late for a man to learn to stitch, to begin mending. These are the things I would tell that young father, if I could. A daughter grown up quickly. There isn't time to waste. I love you, Dad
Lisa Wingate (Dandelion Summer (Blue Sky Hill #4))
NINA Your life is beautiful. TRIGORIN I see nothing especially lovely about it. [He looks at his watch] Excuse me, I must go at once, and begin writing again. I am in a hurry. [He laughs] You have stepped on my pet corn, as they say, and I am getting excited, and a little cross. Let us discuss this bright and beautiful life of mine, though. [After a few moments' thought] Violent obsessions sometimes lay hold of a man: he may, for instance, think day and night of nothing but the moon. I have such a moon. Day and night I am held in the grip of one besetting thought, to write, write, write! Hardly have I finished one book than something urges me to write another, and then a third, and then a fourth--I write ceaselessly. I am, as it were, on a treadmill. I hurry for ever from one story to another, and can't help myself. Do you see anything bright and beautiful in that? Oh, it is a wild life! Even now, thrilled as I am by talking to you, I do not forget for an instant that an unfinished story is awaiting me. My eye falls on that cloud there, which has the shape of a grand piano; I instantly make a mental note that I must remember to mention in my story a cloud floating by that looked like a grand piano. I smell heliotrope; I mutter to myself: a sickly smell, the colour worn by widows; I must remember that in writing my next description of a summer evening. I catch an idea in every sentence of yours or of my own, and hasten to lock all these treasures in my literary store-room, thinking that some day they may be useful to me. As soon as I stop working I rush off to the theatre or go fishing, in the hope that I may find oblivion there, but no! Some new subject for a story is sure to come rolling through my brain like an iron cannonball. I hear my desk calling, and have to go back to it and begin to write, write, write, once more. And so it goes for everlasting. I cannot escape myself, though I feel that I am consuming my life. To prepare the honey I feed to unknown crowds, I am doomed to brush the bloom from my dearest flowers, to tear them from their stems, and trample the roots that bore them under foot. Am I not a madman? Should I not be treated by those who know me as one mentally diseased? Yet it is always the same, same old story, till I begin to think that all this praise and admiration must be a deception, that I am being hoodwinked because they know I am crazy, and I sometimes tremble lest I should be grabbed from behind and whisked off to a lunatic asylum. The best years of my youth were made one continual agony for me by my writing. A young author, especially if at first he does not make a success, feels clumsy, ill-at-ease, and superfluous in the world. His nerves are all on edge and stretched to the point of breaking; he is irresistibly attracted to literary and artistic people, and hovers about them unknown and unnoticed, fearing to look them bravely in the eye, like a man with a passion for gambling, whose money is all gone. I did not know my readers, but for some reason I imagined they were distrustful and unfriendly; I was mortally afraid of the public, and when my first play appeared, it seemed to me as if all the dark eyes in the audience were looking at it with enmity, and all the blue ones with cold indifference. Oh, how terrible it was! What agony!
Anton Chekhov (The Seagull)
We have time for everything: to sleep, to run from one place to another, to regret having mistaken and to mistake again, to judge the others and to forgive ourselves we have time for reading and writing, for making corrections to our texts, to regret ever having written we have time to make plans and time not to respect them, we have time for ambitions and sicknesses, time to blame the destiny and the details, we have time to watch the clouds, advertisements or some ordinary accident, we have time to chase our wonders away and to postpone the answers, we have time to break a dream to pieces and then to reinvent it, we have time to make friends, to lose friends, we have time to receive lessons and forget them afterwards, we have time to receive gifts and not to understand them. We have time for them all. There is no time for just a bit of tenderness. When we are aware about to do this we die. I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you; All you can do is to be a loved person. the rest … depends on the others. I’ve learned that as much as I care others might not care. I’ve learned that it takes years to earn trust and just a few seconds to lose it. I’ve learned that it does not matter WHAT you have in your life but WHO you have. I’ve learned that your charm is useful for about 15 minutes Afterwards, you should better know something. I’ve learned that no matter how you cut it, everything has two sides! I’ve learned that you should separate from your loved ones with warm words It might be the last time you see them! I’ve learned that you can still continue for a long time after saying you cannot continue anymore I’ve learned that heroes are those who do what they have to do, when they have to do it, regardless the consequences I’ve learned that there are people who love But do not know how to show it ! I’ve learned that when I am upset I have the RIGHT to be upset But not the right to be bad! I’ve learned that real friendship continues to exist despite the distance And this is true also for REAL LOVE !!! I’ve learned that if someone does not love you like you want them to It does not mean that they do not love you with all their heart. I’ve learned that no matter how good of a friend someone is for you that person will hurt you every now and then and that you have to forgive him. I’ve learned that it is not enough to be forgiven by others Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself. I’ve learned that no matter how much you suffer, The world will not stop for your pain. I’ve learned that the past and the circumstances might have an influence on your personality But that YOU are responsible for what you become !!! I’ve learned that if two people have an argument it does not mean that they do not love each other I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put on the first place the person, not the facts I’ve learned that two people can look at the same thing and can see something totally different I’ve learned that regardless the consequences those WHO ARE HONEST with themselves go further in life. I’ve learned that life can be changed in a few hours by people who do not even know you. I’ve learned that even when you think there is nothing more you can give when a friend calls you, you will find the strength to help him. I’ve learned that writing just like talking can ease the pains of the soul ! I’ve learned that those whom you love the most are taken away from you too soon … I’ve learned that it is too difficult to realise where to draw the line between being friendly, not hurting people and supporting your oppinions. I’ve learned to love to be loved.
Octavian Paler
I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch – hay fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into – some fearful, devastating scourge, I know – and, before I had glanced half down the list of “premonitory symptoms,” it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it. I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever – read the symptoms – discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it – wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance – found, as I expected, that I had that too, – began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically – read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright’s disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s knee. ... I had walked into that reading-room a happy, healthy man. I crawled out a decrepit wreck. I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse, and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing, when I fancy I’m ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to him now. “What a doctor wants,” I said, “is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each.” So I went straight up and saw him, and he said: “Well, what’s the matter with you?” I said: “I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is NOT the matter with me. I have not got housemaid’s knee. Why I have not got housemaid’s knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I HAVE got.” And I told him how I came to discover it all. Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and then he hit me over the chest when I wasn’t expecting it – a cowardly thing to do, I call it – and immediately afterwards butted me with the side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out. I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist’s, and handed it in. The man read it, and then handed it back. He said he didn’t keep it. I said: “You are a chemist?” He said: “I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me.” I read the prescription. It ran: “1 lb. beefsteak, with 1 pt. bitter beer every 6 hours. 1 ten-mile walk every morning. 1 bed at 11 sharp every night. And don’t stuff up your head with things you don’t understand.” I followed the directions, with the happy result – speaking for myself – that my life was preserved, and is still going on.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
It is said that there are four kinds of horses: excellent ones, good ones, poor ones, and bad ones. The best horse will run slow and fast, right and left, at the driver’s will, before it sees the shadow of the whip; the second best will run as well as the first one does, just before the whip reaches its skin; the third one will run when it feels pain on its body; the fourth will run after the pain penetrates to the marrow of its bones. You can imagine how difficult it is for the fourth one to learn how to run! When we hear this story, almost all of us want to be the best horse. If it is impossible to be the best one, we want to be the second best. That is, I think, the usual understanding of this story, and of Zen. You may think that when you sit in zazen you will find out whether you are one of the best horses or one of the worst ones. Here, however, there is a misunderstanding of Zen. If you think the aim of Zen practice is to train you to become one of the best horses, you will have a big problem. This is not the right understanding. If you practice Zen in the right way it does not matter whether you are the best horse or the worst one. When you consider the mercy of Buddha, how do you think Buddha will feel about the four kinds of horses? He will have more sympathy for the worst one than for the best one. When you are determined to practice zazen with the great mind of Buddha, you will find the worst horse is the most valuable one. In your very imperfections you will find the basis for your firm, way-seeking mind. Those who can sit perfectly physically usually take more time to obtain the true way of Zen, the actual feeling of Zen, the marrow of Zen. But those who find great difficulties in practicing Zen will find more meaning in it. So I think that sometimes the best horse may be the worst horse, and the worst horse can be the best one. If you study calligraphy you will find that those who are not so clever usually become the best calligraphers. Those who are very clever with their hands often encounter great difficulty after they have reached a certain stage. This is also true in art and in Zen. It is true in life. So when we talk about Zen we cannot say, 'He is good,' or 'He is bad,' in the ordinary sense of the words. The posture taken in zazen is not the same for each of us. For some it may be impossible to take the cross-legged posture. But even though you cannot take the right posture, when you arouse your real, way-seeking mind, you can practice Zen in its true sense. Actually it is easier for those who have difficulties in sitting to arouse the true way-seeking mind that for those who can sit easily.
Shunryu Suzuki
Kasha didn't say a word as we ate. She sat with her back to us, staring at a mountain range far in the distance. Yorn and I made small talk about the birds, but my mind was on Kasha, wondering what she was thinking. She was the Traveler from Eelong. We needed her. Eelong needed her. Heck, Halla needed her. I wished I knew how to convince her of that. When she finally did speak, I was surprised at her question. "How many territories are there?" she asked. "Ten in all," I said. "At least that's what I've been told. They're all part of Halla." "Explain to me what halla is," she said. It was an order more than a question. I didn't know why she suddenly had this interest, but if she was willing to listen, I was ready to talk. "The way it was told to me, Halla is everything. Every time, every place, every person and creature that ever existed. It all still exists." "And you understand that?" she asked. "Well, not entirely," I answered honestly. "But you're willing to risk your life and the lives of those around you to protect Halla from Saint Dane?" Good question. I'd asked myself the same question more than once. "I wasn't at first," I began. "Far from it. I didn't want any part of Travelers or flumes and especially of Saint Dane. But since then I've been to a bunch of territories and seen the evil he's capable of." Kasha scoffed and said,"Evil? You're a fool, Pendragon. A tang is evil. What possible evil could a gar cause that's worse than that?" "I'll tell you," I said. "He's killed more people than I want to count, all in the name of creating chaos. He fueled a war on Denduron and tried to poison all of Cloral. Then he nearly crushed three territories at once, my home territories of Earth. But each time the Travelers stopped him. Until Veelox. We failed on Veelox. An entire civilization is going to collapse, millions will die, all because we failed. And Saint Dane wil be there to pick up the pieces. Or step on them." "It's all mildly interesting," she said calmly. "But like I said before, it has nothing to do with me. I don't care." That's when I snapped. Okay, I admit, maybe I should have been cool, but Kasha's total lack of concern had finally gotten to me. I jumped to my feet and said, "Well, you'd better start!" "It's all right, Pendragon," Yorn said calmly. "Relax." "Relax?" I shouted, getting more amped up by the second. "Why? So I won't upset Kasha? She should be upset. People have died fighting Saint Dane. People I've loved, people she's loved." I looked right at Kasha and said, "You don't care? I'll tell you what I don't care about. I don't care that your life is a mess. Sorry, it's true. You've got way bigger problems coming, kitty cat. You want to pretend like none of this affects you? Fine. You're wrong. If we fail, Eelong will crumble and everything you care about will crash along with it. And whether you like it or not, you're a Traveler. So why don't you just grow up and accept it!
D.J. MacHale (Black Water (Pendragon, #5))
Groin' is a funny word," Babe said quietly. "I don't know the German for it, but I'm sure you do." He began to talk more quickly then, because he could tell Szell was starting to die. "Oh, maybe you didn't see it in the papers, but they've made this fabulous theological discovery, do you know what they've found? People don't go to heaven or hell, they all go to one spot first, sort of a way station, and that's were things happen, because, you probably won't believe this, but some people on this earth have been known to do bad things to other people, innocent people, and at this way station, the innocent people wait, and then when their savager comes, they get to exact a little portion of revenge. God says revenge is good for the soul. Do you know who's waiting for you, Mr. Szell? All the Jews. They're all there, and you know what else? They've all got drills, like you used on me - remember how you said how wonderful it was, anyone could learn that, how to use them? Well, they have and they're waiting, and I don't know about you, but I think it's gonna be terrific." Szell was almost dead now, but Babe just had time to get it in. Have a swell eternity," Babe said...
William Goldman (Marathon Man)
I wanna say something that I want you to remember for the rest of your life, OK? I want you to listen closely. I'm giving you a key to life right now, this is the key to life. The key to life, the key to life is running and reading. Oh right? Now listen very seriously, the key to life is running and reading. Right now, why running? When you're running and you are there and you're running there's a little person that talks to you and that little person says "Oh, I'm tired", "My lounge's about to pop", "I'm so hurt", "I'm so tired", "There's no way I can possibly continue". And you wanna quit. Right? That person, if you learn how to defeat that person when you're running you will learn how to not quit when things get hard in your life. Running. Oh right? That's the first key to life. Reading. The reason the reading is so important. There've been millions and billions and billions and gazillions of people that have lived before all of us. There's no new problem you can have with your parents, with school, with a bully, with anything, there's no problem you can have that someone hasn't already solved and wrote about it in a book. So they keys to life are running and reading.
Will Smith
You just want to give up, he said when he was able to speak. Only you keep going. You still have to get up in the morning and pour the cereal in the bowls. You keep on breathing, whether you want to or not. Nobody's around to tell you how it's supposed to work. The usual rules just don't apply anymore. He was still talking, but she wasn't even sure if it was to her. When it started, he said, I thought nothing could be worse than those first days. And it wasn't only us, but everyone else you'd see, wandering around like they'd landed on a whole different planet. Instead of just dealing with your own heart getting ripped into pieces, wherever you looked you knew there were other people dealing with the same thing. You couldn't even be alone with it. Like you're out in the ocean and the undertow catches you and you start yelling for help, but then you look around, and all around you in the water for as far as you can see, there's all these other people flailing too. He sat there for a moment, shaking his head. You keep getting up in the morning and knowing this will continue maybe ten thousand more mornings. You wish you were the one who died. How much better would that be?
Joyce Maynard (The Usual Rules)
...while epic fantasy is based on the fairy tale of the just war, that’s not one you’ll find in Grimm or Disney, and most will never recognize the shape of it. I think the fantasy genre pitches its tent in the medieval campground for the very reason that we even bother to write stories about things that never happened in the first place: because it says something subtle and true about our own world, something it is difficult to say straight out, with a straight face. Something you need tools to say, you need cheat codes for the human brain--a candy princess or a sugar-coated unicorn to wash down the sour taste of how bad things can really get. See, I think our culture has a slash running through the middle of it, too. Past/Future, Conservative/Liberal, Online/Offline. Virgin/Whore. And yes: Classical/Medieval. I think we’re torn between the Classical Narrative of Self and the Medieval Narrative of Self, between the choice of Achilles and Keep Calm and Carry On. The Classical internal monologue goes like this: do anything, anything, only don’t be forgotten. Yes, this one sacrificed his daughter on a slab at Aulis, that one married his mother and tore out his eyes, and oh that guy ate his kids in a pie. But you remember their names, don’t you? So it’s all good in the end. Give a Greek soul a choice between a short life full of glory and a name echoing down the halls of time and a long, gentle life full of children and a quiet sort of virtue, and he’ll always go down in flames. That’s what the Iliad is all about, and the Odyssey too. When you get to Hades, you gotta have a story to tell, because the rest of eternity is just forgetting and hoping some mortal shows up on a quest and lets you drink blood from a bowl so you can remember who you were for one hour. And every bit of cultural narrative in America says that we are all Odysseus, we are all Agamemnon, all Atreus, all Achilles. That we as a nation made that choice and chose glory and personal valor, and woe betide any inconvenient “other people” who get in our way. We tell the tales around the campfire of men who came from nothing to run dotcom empires, of a million dollars made overnight, of an actress marrying a prince from Monaco, of athletes and stars and artists and cowboys and gangsters and bootleggers and talk show hosts who hitched up their bootstraps and bent the world to their will. Whose names you all know. And we say: that can be each and every one of us and if it isn’t, it’s your fault. You didn’t have the excellence for it. You didn’t work hard enough. The story wasn’t about you, and the only good stories are the kind that have big, unignorable, undeniable heroes.
Catherynne M. Valente
Sean: …………And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my life apart. You're an orphan right? [Will nods] Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally... I don't give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you, I can't read in some book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Matt Damon
From the first day I met his daughter, all I could think about was snuffling up under that sweet dimity like some bad old bear, just crawling up into that honeycomb, nose twitching, and never come out of there till early spring. Think that’s disgusting? Dammit, I do, too, but that’s the way male animals are made. Those peculiar delights were created to entrap us, and anybody who disapproves can take it up with God. In their wondrous capacity of knowing the Lord’s mind, churchly folks will tell you that He would purely hate to hear such dirty talk. My idea is, He wouldn’t mind it half so much as they would have us think, because even according to their own queer creed, we are God’s handiwork, created in His image, lust, piss, shit, and all. Without that magnificent Almighty lust that we mere mortals dare to call a sin, there wouldn’t be any more mortals, and God’s grand design for the human race, if He exists and if He ever had one, would turn to dust, and dust unto dust, forever and amen. Other creatures would step up and take over, realizing that man was too weak and foolish to properly reproduce himself. I nominate hogs to inherit the Earth, because hogs love to eat any old damned thing God sets in front of them, and they’re ever so grateful for God’s green earth even when it’s all rain and mud, and they just plain adore to feed and fuck and frolic and fulfill God’s holy plan. For all we know, it’s hogs which are created in God’s image, who’s to say?
Peter Matthiessen (Shadow Country)
The thing about being barren is that you’re not allowed to get away from it. Not when you’re in your thirties. My friends were having children, friends of friends were having children, pregnancy and birth and first birthday parties were everywhere. I was asked about it all the time. My mother, our friends, colleagues at work. When was it going to be my turn? At some point our childlessness became an acceptable topic of Sunday-lunch conversation, not just between Tom and me, but more generally. What we were trying, what we should be doing, do you really think you should be having a second glass of wine? I was still young, there was still plenty of time, but failure cloaked me like a mantle, it overwhelmed me, dragged me under, and I gave up hope. At the time, I resented the fact that it was always seen as my fault, that I was the one letting the side down. But as the speed with which he managed to impregnate Anna demonstrates, there was never any problem with Tom’s virility. I was wrong to suggest that we should share the blame; it was all down to me. Lara, my best friend since university, had two children in two years: a boy first and then a girl. I didn’t like them. I didn’t want to hear anything about them. I didn’t want to be near them. Lara stopped speaking to me after a while. There was a girl at work who told me—casually, as though she were talking about an appendectomy or a wisdom-tooth extraction—that she’d recently had an abortion, a medical one, and it was so much less traumatic than the surgical one she’d had when she was at university. I couldn’t speak to her after that, I could barely look at her. Things became awkward in the office; people noticed. Tom didn’t feel the way I did. It wasn’t his failure, for starters, and in any case, he didn’t need a child like I did. He wanted to be a dad, he really did—I’m sure he daydreamed about kicking a football around in the garden with his son, or carrying his daughter on his shoulders in the park. But he thought our lives could be great without children, too. “We’re happy,” he used to say to me. “Why can’t we just go on being happy?” He became frustrated with me. He never understood that it’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
My dad said to me a few years ago: "There's no harm in thinking." We were talking about Crazy Uncle Albert and whether it was right to use your brain to build weapons. He said, "You can't expect people not to think. Not to know things just because they COULD be bad." I said, "Yeah, but then they built it and a hundred thousand people died." My dad laughed and said there were a lot of steps between the thinking and the doing. Which I know, duh. All I was saying is that when you think of doing something, you don't always know the consequences. For a while people THOUGHT about building the bomb, but nothing happened. In the end it was a lot of different people doing a lot of different things, most of which had nothing to do with the bomb, that did make it happen. I think about that sometimes. Who was the person who had the first thought, the one that started it all? And after they had the thought, what was the first thing they did? I know my uncle never thought, Hey, all this great science- one day I'll use it to kill a whole bunch of people. You just look at his picture; he's not that kind of person. And yet, I guess in a way he sort of is.
Mariah Fredericks (Head Games)
Impatiently I waited for evening, when I might summon you to my presence. An unusual– to me– a perfectly new character, I suspected was yours; I desired to search it deeper, and know it better. You entered the room with a look and air at once shy and independent; you were quaintly dress– much as you are now. I made you talk; ere long I found you full of strange contrasts. Your garb and manner were restricted by rule; your air was often diffident, and altogether that of one refined by nature, but absolutely unused to society, and a good deal afraid of making herself disadvantageously conspicuous by some solecism or blunder; yet, when addressed, you lifted a keen, a daring, and a glowing eye to your interlocutor’s face; there was penetration and power in each glance you gave; when plied by close questions, you found ready and round answers. Very soon you seemed to get used to me – I believe you felt the existence of sympathy between you and your grim and cross master, Jane; for it was astonishing to see how quickly a certain pleasant ease tranquilized your manner; snarl as I would, you showed no surprise, fear, annoyance, or displeasure, at my moroseness; you watched me, and now and then smiled at me with a simple yet sagacious grace I cannot describe. I was at once content and stimulated with what I saw; I liked what I had seen, and wished to see more. Yet, for a long time, I treated you distantly, and sought your company rarely, I was an intellectual epicure, and wished to prolong the gratification of making this novel and piquant acquaintance; besides, I was for a while troubled with a haunting fear that if I handled the flower freely its bloom would fade – the sweet charm of freshness would leave it. I did not then know that it was no transitory blossom, but rather the radiant resemblance of one, cut in an indestructible gem. Moreover, I wished to see whether you would seek me if I shunned you – but you did not; you kept in the school-room as still as your own desk and easel; if by chance I met you, you passed me as soon, and with as little token of recognition, as was consistent with respect. Your habitual expression in those days, Jane, was a thoughtful look; not despondent, fro you were not sickly; but not buoyant, for you had little hope, and no actual pleasure. I wondered what you thought of me– or if you ever thought of me; to find this out, I resumed my notice of you. There was something glad in your glance, and genial in your manner, when you conversed; I saw you had a social heart; it was the silent school-room– it was the tedium of your life that made you mournful. I permitted myself the delight of being kind to you; kindness stirred emotion soon; your face became soft in expression, your tones gentle; I liked my name pronounced by your lips in a grateful, happy accent. I used to enjoy a chance meeting with you, Jane, at this time; there was a curious hesitation in your manner; you glanced at me with a slight trouble– a hovering doubt; you did not know what my caprice might be– whether I was going to play the master, and be stern– or the friend, and be benignant. I was now too fond of you often to stimulate the first whim; and, when I stretched my hand out cordially, such bloom, and light, and bliss, rose to your young, wistful features, I had much ado often to avoid straining you then and there to my heart.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
My life was awful. When I was a kid, I was fat, pretty ugly and had awful hair. I used to get teased every fucking day, slammed up against lockers, punched in the face - you name it. Hell, I had to go to prom with one of my female friends because I couldn’t even get a proper date. I can’t even look back at those photos because I look so bad. I transferred schools, but the teasing just got worse. After an, let’s say, ‘incident’ I had with the school play the bullying just got worse. But I made it through high school, only to find out that real life was pretty much the same. I just stayed in my dark room all day and didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t go outside. I just stayed inside and drew. I’d draw vampires, mummies, heroes, villains. Anything to help me escape all the bad in the world. I went to art school and didn’t really belong. All I could draw was comic book characters. I tried to put my only good talent to use by drawing a cartoon and pitching it - only to have it turned down. Life to me was just pointless. I started drinking, doing drugs and just generally wasting my life drawing.
Then one day, I saw bodies falling from the sky. I witnessed people dying. And that’s when I decided to turn my life around. I called up anyone I knew who had an instrument and we formed a band. Being on tour for the first few years was bad. All we’d do is get drunk and do drugs, but I loved it. Because I was doing something I loved with people I loved. And a few years ago I met the most perfect woman ever. It’s like we share a wave-link or something. She just knows me without even knowing me, if you understand. And now, 2011, I have a beautiful baby girl, a caring wife and I get to perform for my adoring fans everyday. I am living proof that no matter how bad it gets, it gets better. I am Gerard Way, and I survived.
Gerard Way
When I woke, I was nestled on top of Ren’s chest. His arms were wrapped around me, and my legs were entwined with his. I was surprised I could breathe all night since my nose was smashed against his muscular torso. It had gotten cold, but my quilt covered both of us and his body, which maintained a warmer-than-average temperature, had kept me toasty all night. Ren was still asleep, so I took the rare opportunity to study him. His powerful frame was relaxed and his face was softened by sleep. His lips were full, smooth, and utterly kissable, and for the first time, I noticed how long his sooty lashes were. His glossy dark hair fell softly over his brow and was mussed in a way that made him look even more irresistible. So this is the real Ren. He doesn’t seem real. He looked like an archangel who fell to the earth. I’d been with Ren night and day for the past four weeks, but the time he was a man was such a small fraction of each day that he seemed almost like a dream guy, a real life Prince Charming. I traced a black eyebrow, following its arch with my finger, and lightly brushed the silky dark hair away from his face. Hoping not to disturb him, I sighed, shifted slowly, and tried to move away, but his arms tensed, restraining me. He sleepily mumbled, “Don’t even think about moving” and pulled me back to snuggle me close again. I rested my cheek against his chest, felt his heartbeat, and contented myself with listening to its rhythm. After a few minutes, he stretched and rolled to his side, pulling me with him. He kissed my forehead, blinked open his eyes, and smiled at me. It was like watching the sun come up. The handsome, sleeping man was potent enough, but when he turned his dazzling white smile on me and blinked open his cobalt blue eyes, I was dumbstruck. I bit my lip. Alarm bells started going off in my head. Ren’s eyes fluttered open, and he tucked some loose hair behind my ear. “Good morning, rajkumari. Sleep well?” I stammered, “I…you…I…slept just fine, thank you.” I closed my eyes, rolled away from him, and stood up. I could deal with him a lot better if I didn’t think about him much, or look at him, or talk to him, or hear him. He wrapped his arms around me from behind, and I felt his smile as he pressed his lips to the soft spot behind my ear. “Best night of sleep I’ve had in about three hundred and fifty years.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
I don’t know what to . . . to think.” There was a horrifying burn of tears crawling up my throat. “This is all overwhelming for you, I imagine. The whole world as you know it is on the brink of great change, and you’re here and don’t even know my name.” The man smiled so broadly, I wondered if it hurt. “You can call me Rolland.” Then he extended a hand. My gaze dropped to it and I made no attempt to take it. Rolland chuckled as he turned and strolled back to the desk. “So, you’re a hybrid? Mutated and linked to him on such an intense level that if one of you dies, so does the other?” His question caught me off guard, but I kept quiet. He sat on the edge of the desk. “You’re actually the first hybrid I’ve seen.” “She really isn’t anything special.” The redhead sneered. “Frankly, she’s rather filthy, like an unclean animal.” As stupid as it was, my cheeks heated, because I was filthy, and Daemon had just physically removed me from him. My pride—my everything—was officially wounded. Rolland chuckled. “She’s had a rough day, Sadi.” At her name, every muscle in my body locked up, and my gaze swung back to her. That was Sadi? The one Dee said was trying to molest Daemon—my Daemon? Anger punched through the confusion and hurt. Of course it would have to be a freaking walking and talking model and not a hag. “Rough day or not, I can’t imagine she cleans up well.” Sadi looked at Daemon as she placed a hand on his chest. “I’m kind of disappointed.” “Are you?” Daemon replied.
 Every hair on my body rose as my arms unfolded.
 “Yes,” she purred. “I really think you can do better. Lots better.” As she spoke, she trailed red-painted fingers down the center of his chest, over his abdomen, heading straight for the button on his jeans. And oh, hell to the no. “Get your hands off him.”
 Sadi’s head snapped in my direction. “Excuse me?”
 “I don’t think I stuttered.” I took a step forward. “But it looks like you need me to repeat it. Get your freaking hands off him.” One side of her plump red lips curled up. “You want to make me?”
 In the back of my head, I was aware that Sadi didn’t move or speak like the other Luxen. Her mannerisms were too human, but then that thought was quickly chased away when Daemon reached down and pulled her hand away. “Stop it,” he murmured, voice dropped low in that teasing way of his. I saw red. The pictures on the wall rattled and the papers on the desk started to lift up. Static charged over my skin. I was about to pull a Beth right here, seconds away from floating to the ceiling and ripping out every strand of red— “And you stop it,” Daemon said, but the teasing quality was gone from his words. There was a warning in them that took the wind right out of my pissed-off sails. The pictures settled as I gaped at him. Being slapped in the face would’ve been better.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
I love her with all my soul. Why, she is a child! She's a child now — a real child. Oh! you know nothing about it at all, I see." "And are you assured, at the same time, that you love Aglaya too?" "Yes — yes — oh; yes!" "How so? Do you want to make out that you love them BOTH?" "Yes — yes — both! I do!" "Excuse me, prince, but think what you are saying! Recollect yourself!" "Without Aglaya — I — I MUST see Aglaya! — I shall die in my sleep very soon — I thought I was dying in my sleep last night. Oh! if Aglaya only knew all — I mean really, REALLY all! Because she must know ALL — that's the first condition towards understanding. Why cannot we ever know all about another, especially when that other has been guilty? But I don't know what I'm talking about — I'm so confused. You pained me so dreadfully. Surely — surely Aglaya has not the same expression now as she had at the moment when she ran away? Oh, yes! I am guilty and I know it — I know it! Probably I am in fault all round — I don't quite know how — but I am in fault, no doubt. There is something else, but I cannot explain it to you, Evgenie Pavlovitch. I have no words; but Aglaya will understand. I have always believed Aglaya will understand — I am assured she will." "No, prince, she will not. Aglaya loved like a woman, like a human being, not like an abstract spirit. Do you know what, my poor prince? The most probable explanation of the matter is that you never loved either the one or the other in reality.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Idiot)
Every time I glanced at Ren, I saw that he was watching me. When we finally reached the end of the tunnel and saw the stone steps that led to the surface, Ren stopped. “Kelsey, I have one final request of you before we head up.” “And what would that be? Want to talk about tiger senses or monkey bites in strange places maybe?” “No. I want you to kiss me.” I sputtered, “What? Kiss you? What for? Don’t you think you got to kiss me enough on this trip?” “Humor me, Kells. This is the end of the line for me. We’re leaving the place where I get to be a man all the time, and I have only my tiger’s life to look forward to. So, yes, I want you to kiss me one more time.” I hesitated. “Well, if this works, you can go around kissing all the girls you want to. So why bother with me right now?” He ran a hand through his hair in frustration. “Because! I don’t want to run around kissing all the other girls! I want to kiss you!” “Fine! If it will shut you up!” I leaned over and pecked him on the cheek. “There!” “No. Not good enough. On the lips, my prema.” I leaned over and pecked him on the lips. “There. Can we go now?” I marched up the first two steps, and he slipped his hand under my elbow and spun me around, twisting me so that I fell forward into his arms. He caught me tightly around the waist. His smirk suddenly turned into a sober expression. “A kiss. A real one. One that I’ll remember.” I was about to say something brilliantly sarcastic, probably about him not having permission, when he captured my mouth with his. I was determined to remain stiff and unaffected, but he was extremely patient. He nibbled on the corners of my mouth and pressed soft, slow kisses against my unyielding lips. It was so hard not to respond to him. I made a valiant struggle, but sometimes the body betrays the mind. He slowly, methodically swept aside my resistance. And, feeling he was winning, he pressed ahead and began seducing me even more skillfully. He held me tightly against his body and ran a hand up to my neck where he began to massage it gently, teasing my flesh with his fingertips. I felt the little love plant inside me stretch, swell, and unfurl its leaves, like he was pouring Love Potion # 9 over the thing. I gave up at that point and decided what the heck. I could always use a rototiller on it. And I rationalized that when he breaks my heart, at least I will have been thoroughly kissed. If nothing else, I’ll have a really good memory to look back on in my multi-cat spinsterhood. Or multi-dog. I think I will have had my fill of cats. I groaned softly. Yep. Dogs for sure.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
I was asked to talk to a roomful of undergraduates in a university in a beautiful coastal valley. I talked about place, about the way we often talk about love of place, but seldom how places love us back, of what they give us. They give us continuity, something to return to, and offer familiarity that allows some portion of our lives to remain collected and coherent. They give us an expansive scale in which our troubles are set into context, in which the largeness of the world is a balm to loss, trouble, and ugliness. And distant places give us refuge in territories where our own histories aren't so deeply entrenched and we can imagine other stories, other selves, or just drink up quiet and respite. The bigness of the world is redemption. Despair compresses you into a small space, and a depression is literally a hollow in the ground. To dig deeper into the self, to go underground, is sometimes necessary, but so is the other route of getting out of yourself, into the larger world, into the openness in which you need not clutch your story and your troubles so tightly to your chest. Being able to travel in both ways matters, and sometimes the way back into the heart of the question begins by going outward and beyond. This is the expansiveness that comes literally in a landscape or that tugs you out of yourself in a story..... I told the student that they were at an age when they might begin to choose the places that would sustain them the rest of their lives, that places were much more reliable than human beings, and often much longer-lasting, and I asked each of them where they felt at home. They answered, each of them, down the rows, for an hour, the immigrants who had never stayed anywhere long or left a familiar world behind, the teenagers who'd left the home they'd spent their whole lives in for the first time, the ones who loved or missed familiar landscapes and the ones who had not yet noticed them. I found books and places before I found friends and mentors, and they gave me a lot, if not quite what a human being would. As a child, I spun outward in trouble, for in that inside-out world [of my family], everywhere but home was safe. Happily, the oaks were there, the hills, the creeks, the groves, the birds, the old dairy and horse ranches, the rock outcroppings, the open space inviting me to leap out of the personal into the embrace of the nonhuman world.
Rebecca Solnit (The Faraway Nearby)
And I am proud, but mostly, I’m angry. I’m angry, because when I look around, I’m still alone. I’m still the only black woman in the room. And when I look at what I’ve fought so hard to accomplish next to those who will never know that struggle I wonder, “How many were left behind?” I think about my first-grade class and wonder how many black and brown kids weren’t identified as “talented” because their parents were too busy trying to pay bills to pester the school the way my mom did. Surely there were more than two, me and the brown boy who sat next to me in the hall each day. I think about my brother and wonder how many black boys were similarly labeled as “trouble” and were unable to claw out of the dark abyss that my brother had spent so many years in. I think about the boys and girls playing at recess who were dragged to the principal’s office because their dark skin made their play look like fight. I think about my friend who became disillusioned with a budding teaching career, when she worked at the alternative school and found that it was almost entirely populated with black and brown kids who had been sent away from the general school population for minor infractions. From there would only be expulsions or juvenile detention. I think about every black and brown person, every queer person, every disabled person, who could be in the room with me, but isn’t, and I’m not proud. I’m heartbroken. We should not have a society where the value of marginalized people is determined by how well they can scale often impossible obstacles that others will never know. I have been exceptional, and I shouldn’t have to be exceptional to be just barely getting by. But we live in a society where if you are a person of color, a disabled person, a single mother, or an LGBT person you have to be exceptional. And if you are exceptional by the standards put forth by white supremacist patriarchy, and you are lucky, you will most likely just barely get by. There’s nothing inspirational about that.
Ijeoma Oluo (So You Want to Talk About Race)
Well it seems to me that there are books that tell stories, and then there are books that tell truths...," I began. "Go on," she said "The first kind, they show you life like you want it to be. With villains getting what they deserve and the hero seeing what a fool he's been and marrying the heroine and happy ending and all that. Like Sense and Sensibility or Persuasion. But the second kind, they show you life more like it is. Like in Huckleberry Finn where Huck's pa is a no-good drunk and Jim suffers so. The first kind makes you cheerful and contented, but the second kind shakes you up." "People like happy ending, Mattie. They don't want to be shaken up." "I guess not, ma'am. It's just that there are no Captain Wentworths, are there? But there are plenty of Pap Finns. And things go well for Anne Elliot in the end, but they don't go well for most people." My voice trembled as I spoke, as it did whenever I was angry. "I feel let down sometimes. The people in the books-the heroes- they're always so...heroic. And I try to be, but..." "...you're not," Lou said, licking deviled ham off her fingers. "...no, I'm not. People in books are good and noble and unselfish, and people aren't that way... and I feel, well... hornswoggled sometimes. By Jane Austen and Charles Dickens and Louisa May Alcott. Why do writers make things sugary when life isn't that way?" I asked too loudly. "Why don't they tell the truth? Why don't they tell how a pigpen looks after the sow's eaten her children? Or how it is for a girl when her baby won't come out? Or that cancer has a smell to it? All those books, Miss Wilcox," I said, pointing at a pile of them," and I bet not one of them will tell you what cancer smells like. I can, though. It stinks. Like meat gone bad and dirty clothes and bog water all mixed together. Why doesn't anyone tell you that?" No one spoke for a few seconds. I could hear the clock ticking and the sound of my own breathing. Then Lou quietly said, "Cripes, Mattie. You oughtn't to talk like that." I realized then that Miss Wilcox had stopped smiling. Her eyes were fixed om me, and I was certain she'd decided I was morbid and dispiriting like Miss Parrish had said and that I should leave then and there. "I'm sorry, Miss Wilcox," I said, looking at the floor. "I don't mean to be coarse. I just... I don't know why I should care what happens to people in a drawing room in London or Paris or anywhere else when no one in those places cares what happens to people in Eagle Bay." Miss Wilcox's eyes were still fixed on me, only now they were shiny. Like they were the day I got my letter from Barnard. "Make them care, Mattie," she said softly. "And don't you ever be sorry.
Jennifer Donnelly (A Northern Light)
School went exactly as Violet thought it would: weird. It wasn’t her best, and it wasn’t her worst, day ever. It was just weird. Jay was true to his word, deciding not to hold anything back. And it started the second they got out of the car, when he claimed her hand and refused to let go, even when Violet tugged and pulled to try to get it away from him. He ignored her mute protests and held on tight, smiling more to himself than to her, and paraded her right into the school like that. Not that they’d never held hands before, because they had. But this was entirely different, and Jay was hell-bent on making sure that everyone knew it. And just in case anyone wondered what the hand-holding actually meant, he made sure to clear things up for them by planting a big, albeit very satisfying, kiss on her lips, right in the middle of the hallway. Violet didn’t try to pull away from that; in fact, she was dismayed to find herself leaning into him, craving more, and not caring—at least at that moment—who might see them together. Unfortunately that person turned out to be Chelsea. Chelsea, of all people, along with Claire, who happened to walk up at very inopportune instant. “Well, well, well,” Chelsea said in an oh-so-innocent voice. “Look what we have here, Claire-bear. It’s old Jay and Violet.” The unconcealed smile was embedded deep in her voice. “Only, and correct me if I’m wrong, this looks a little more than friendly, don’t you think?” “I never kiss my friends like that,” Claire replied, blank-faced and serious, oblivious to sarcasm. Jay’s answer was to pull Violet closer, wrapping his arm around her waist. Violet cringed. Chelsea cocked her head at Claire. “I was just trying to make a point.” Claire looked confused. “What point?” “Seriously, Claire? That Violet and Jay are dating now.” She glanced away from poor confused Claire and flashed a gloating look to the couple in front of her. “It’s about time, by the way. I think everyone will thank you for putting us all out of our misery. I, for one, was completely fed up with watching you two lovesick puppies pining over each other. Seriously, it was disgusting.” She grabbed Claire by the sleeve of her snug, body-hugging hoodie and led her down the hallway, toward their first-period class. Violet watched in stunned silence, processing everything that Chelsea had said to them, as Claire bounded along in Chelsea’s commanding wake. Jay decided that it was his turn to gloat. “You pined for me?” he asked, stupid grin and all. Violet hit him in the arm. “Shut up!” She shook her head. “I’m pretty sure she was talking about you anyway.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Knock it off,Finn!" I tried to pull my arm from him, but physically he was still stronger than me. "Loki is right. You are my tracker. You need to stop dragging me around and telling me what to do." "Loki?" Finn stopped so he could glare suspiciously at me. "You're on a first-name basis with the Vittra prisoner who kidnapped you? And you're lecturing me on propriety?" "I'm not lecturing you on anything!" I shouted, and I finally got my arm free from him. "But if I were to lecture you, it would be about how you're being such a jerk." "Hey,maybe you should just calm-" Duncan tried to interject. He'd been standing a few feet away from us, looking sheepish and worried. "Duncan,don't you dare tell me how to do my job!" Finn stabbed a finger at him. "You are the most useless, incompetent tracker I have ever met, and first chance I get,I'm going to recommend that the Queen dismiss you. And trust me, I'm doing you a favor. She should have you banished!" Duncan's entire face crumpled, and for a horrible moment I was certain he would cry. Instead,he just gaped at us, then lowered his eyes and nodded. "Finn!" I yelled, wanting to slap him. "Duncan did nothing wrong!" Duncan turned to walk away, and I tried to stop him. "Duncan,no. You don't need to go anywhere." He kept walking, and I didn't go after him. Maybe I should have,but I wanted to yell at Finn some more. "He repeatedly left you alone with the Vittra!" Finn shouted. "I know you have a death wish, but it's Duncan's job to prevent you from acting on it." "I am finding out more about the Vittra so I can stop this ridiculous fighting!" I shot back. "So I've been interviewing a prisoner. It's not that unusual,and I've been perfectly safe." "Oh,yeah, 'interviewing,'" Finn scoffed. "You were flirting with him." "Flirting?" I repeated and rolled my eyes. "You're being a dick because you think I was flirting? I wasn't, but even if I was,that doesn't give you the right to treat me or Duncan or anybody this way." "I'm not being a dick," Finn insisted. "I am doing my job, and fraternizing with the enemy is looked down on, Princess. If he doesn't hurt you, the Vittra or Trylle will." "We were only talking,Finn!" "I saw you,Wendy," Finn snapped. "You were flirting. You even wore your hair down when you snuck off to see him." "My hair?" I touched it. "I wore it down because I had a headache from training, and I wasn't sneaking. I was...No,you know what? I don't have to explain anything to you. I didn't do anything wrong, and I don't have to answer to you." "Princess-" "No,I don't want to hear it!" I shook my head. "I really don't want to do this right now.Just go away,Finn!
Amanda Hocking (Torn (Trylle, #2))
You know when I first met you, you scared the shit out of me.” She pulls a “whoops” face and glances at the minister, who sighs because he knows us well enough to know this is just how we talk. Then she returns her focus to me and clears her throat. “You were so intense and determined to get to know me and I couldn’t understand why you would want to, for a lot of reasons, reasons that you know about because you know me better than anyone.” Her voice wobbles a little and she lets go of the paper and wipes her sweaty palm on her jacket. “But eventually you sort of wore on me.” Her lips quirk and it makes me grin. “You became my light in my dark life and you made me feel so loved that I’d forget how to breathe. You were the only one who could make me laugh, smile, have fun, not give up. You were always there for me and somehow, through the crazy, intense years, you fought your way into my soul and ended up becoming my everything. You became my lifeline, the one person I could rely on no matter what, whether I was upset or pushing you away—you were always there for me. And I love you for it and for the amazing person that you are, for writing me songs and tattooing them on your skin, for wearing a ridiculous O ring on your finger,” she says, trying to smile but I can tell she’s getting overwhelmed by her emotions. “And for loving me enough not to let me give up, not matter how hard I fought.
Jessica Sorensen (The Ever After of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #4))
I hope I’m being clear, I didn’t say I hate feminists, that would be weird. I said I hate feminist. I’m talking about the word. I have the privilege living my life inside of words and part of being a writer is creating entire universes, and that's beautiful, but part of being a writer is also living in the very smallest part of every word. ...But the word feminist, it doesn't sit with me, it doesn't add up. I want to talk about my problem that I have with it. ...Ist in it's meaning is also a problem for me. Because you can't be born an ist. It's not natural... So feminist includes the idea that believing men and women to be equal, believing all people to be people, is not a natural state. That we don't emerge assuming that everybody in the human race is a human, that the idea of equality is just an idea that's imposed on us. That we are indoctrinated with it, that it's an agenda... ...My problem with feminist is not the word. It's the question. "Are you now, or have you ever been, a feminist?" The great Katy Perry once said—I'm paraphrasing—"I'm not a feminist but I like it when women are strong."...Don't know why she feels the need to say the first part, but listening to the word and thinking about it, I realize I do understand. This question that lies before us is one that should lie behind us. The word is problematic for me because there's another word that we're missing... ...When you say racist, you are saying that is a negative thing. That is a line that we have crossed. Anything on the side of that line is shameful, is on the wrong side of history. And that is a line that we have crossed in terms of gender but we don't have the word for it... ...I start thinking about the fact that we have this word when we're thinking about race that says we have evolved beyond something and we don't really have this word for gender. Now you could argue sexism, but I'd say that's a little specific. People feel removed from sexism. ‘I'm not a sexist, but I'm not a feminist.' They think there's this fuzzy middle ground. There's no fuzzy middle ground. You either believe that women are people or you don't. It's that simple. ...You don’t have to hate someone to destroy them. You just have to not get it. ...My pitch is this word. ‘Genderist.’ I would like this word to become the new racist. I would like a word that says there was a shameful past before we realized that all people were created equal. And we are past that. And every evolved human being who is intelligent and educated and compassionate and to say I don't believe that is unacceptable. And Katy Perry won't say, "I'm not a feminist but I like strong women," she'll say, "I'm not a genderist but sometimes I like to dress up pretty." And that'll be fine. ...This is how we understand society. The word racism didn't end racism, it contextualized it in a way that we still haven't done with this issue. ...I say with gratitude but enormous sadness, we will never not be fighting. And I say to everybody on the other side of that line who believe that women are to be bought and trafficked or ignored...we will never not be fighting. We will go on, we will always work this issue until it doesn't need to be worked anymore. ...Is this idea of genderist going to do something? I don't know. I don't think that I can change the world. I just want to punch it up a little.
Joss Whedon
I first met Winston Churchill in the early summer of 1906 at a dinner party to which I went as a very young girl. Our hostess was Lady Wemyss and I remember that Arthur Balfour, George Wyndman, Hilaire Belloc and Charles Whibley were among the guests… I found myself sitting next to this young man who seemed to me quite different from any other young man I had ever met. For a long time he seemed sunk in abstraction. Then he appeared to become suddenly aware of my existence. He turned on me a lowering gaze and asked me abruptly how old I was. I replied that I was nineteen. “And I,” he said despairingly, “am thirty-two already. Younger than anyone else who counts, though, “he added, as if to comfort himself. Then savagely: “Curse ruthless time! Curse our mortality. How cruelly short is this allotted span for all we must cram into it!” And he burst forth into an eloquent diatribe on the shortness of human life, the immensity of possible human accomplishment—a theme so well exploited by the poets, prophets, and philosophers of all ages that it might seem difficult to invest it with new and startling significance. Yet for me he did so, in a torrent of magnificent language which appeared to be both effortless and inexhaustible and ended up with the words I shall always remember: “We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow worm.” By this time I was convinced of it—and my conviction remained unshaken throughout the years that followed. Later he asked me whether I thought that words had a magic and music quite independent of their meaning. I said I certainly thought so, and I quoted as a classic though familiar instance the first lines that came into my head. Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. His eyes blazed with excitement. “Say that again,” he said, “say it again—it is marvelous!” “But I objected, “You know these lines. You know the ‘Ode to a Nightengale.’ ” He had apparently never read or heard of it before (I must, however, add that next time I met him he had not learned not merely this but all of the odes to Keats by heart—and he recited them quite mercilessly from start to finish, not sparing me a syllable). Finding that he liked poetry, I quoted to him from one of my own favorite poets, Blake. He listened avidly, repeating some lines to himself with varying emphases and stresses, then added meditatively: “I never knew that old Admiral had found so much time to write such good poetry.” I was astounded that he, with his acute susceptibility to words and power of using them, should have left such tracts of English literature entirely unexplored. But however it happened he had lost nothing by it, when he approached books it was “with a hungry, empty mind and with fairly srong jaws, and what I got I *bit*.” And his ear for the beauty of language needed no tuning fork. Until the end of dinner I listened to him spellbound. I can remember thinking: This is what people mean when they talk of seeing stars. That is what I am doing now. I do not to this day know who was on my other side. Good manners, social obligation, duty—all had gone with the wind. I was transfixed, transported into a new element. I knew only that I had seen a great light. I recognized it as the light of genius… I cannot attempt to analyze, still less transmit, the light of genius. But I will try to set down, as I remember them, some of the differences which struck me between him and all the others, young and old, whom I have known. First and foremost he was incalculable. He ran true to no form. There lurked in his every thought and world the ambush of the unexpected. I felt also that the impact of life, ideas and even words upon his mind, was not only vivid and immediate, but direct. Between him and them there was no shock absorber of vicarious thought or precedent gleaned either from books or other minds. His relationship wit
Violet Bonham Carter
We are working! She was fine. You could see her. What the fuck is wrong with you? This is our job, asshole. You can't go doing shit like that when we have a packed house!" Krit shoved him again. "Don't tell me what the fuck to do." I had to stop them. This was about me. I wasn't sure why Krit had come offstage, but I knew it was about me. I had to fix this. I didn't want Krit fighting his best friend. "Stop fucking shoving me, you pansy-ass motherfucker!" Green roared, and lunged for Krit. I moved fast, putting up two hands and jumping in front of Krit to stop him. The force of impact when Green didn't stop hit me directly in the chest. It was as if someone had put a vacuum in my lungs and sucked all of the oxygen from the room. Nothing was getting in, and panic gripped me when I realized I couldn't breathe. "Fuck!" Krit yelled, and his arms were around me. He was doing something to my chest as he begged me to breathe. I was trying to breathe. It wouldn't work. "Baby, please breathe," he was pleading, and I wanted nothing more than to do that, but I couldn't. It hurt, and the terror that I was about to die settled over me. "She got the air knocked out of her. She's gonna be okay," Matty said in a calmer voice. And then the vacuum left, and the air I had been fighting for filled my chest as I gasped loudly and bent over. Krit was holding me against him as me muttered sweet things over and over while he rocked me back and forth. "Take him out of here," Matty said. I couldn't look up to see who he was talking to, but I grabbed Krit's arms to hold onto him in case they were talking about him. "Not me, baby. I'm not leaving you," he said as his hand began running down my hair as if he were petting me. "Not going anywhere." "When Krit is sure she's okay, he is going to beat the motherfucking hell out of you. Go with Legend and let him calm down first.
Abbi Glines (Bad for You (Sea Breeze, #7))
I didn't have a choice." "Are you saying...What are you saying?" Is he...could he be talking about me? He runs a hand through his hair. I've never seen him this emotional before. He's always so controlled, so sure of himself. "I'm saying you're what I want, Emma. I'm saying I'm in love with you." He steps forward and lifts his hand to my cheek, blazing a line of fire with his fingertips as they trace down to my mouth. "How do you think it would make me feel to see you with Grom?" he whispers. "Like someone ripped my heart out and put it through Rachel's meat grinder, that's how. Probably worse. It would probably kill me. Emma, please don't cry." I throw my hands in the air. "Don't cry? Are you serious? Why did you come here, Galen? Did you think it would make me feel better to know that you do love me, but that it still won't work out? That I still have to mate with Grom for the greater good? Don't you tell me not to cry, Galen! I...c...c...can't h...h...help-" The waterworks soak me. Galen looks at me, hands by his side, helpless as a trapped crab. I'm bordering on hyperventilation, and pretty soon I'll start hiccupping. This is too much. His expression is so severe, it looks like he's in physical pain. "Emma," he breathes. "Emma, does this mean you feel the same way? Do you care for me at all?" I laugh, but it sounds sharper than I intended, because of a hiccup. "What does it matter how I feel, Galen? I think we pretty much covered why. No need to rehash things, right?" "It matters, Emma." He grabs my hand and pulls me to him again. "Tell me right now. Do you care for me?" "If you can't tell that I'm stupid in love with you, Galen, then you aren't a very good ambassador for the hum-" His mouth covers mine, cutting me off. This kiss isn't gentle like the first one. It's definitely not sweet. It's rough, demanding, searching. And disorienting. There's not a part of me that isn't melting against Galen, not a part that isn't combusting with his fevered touch. I accidentally moan into his lips. He takes it for his cue to lift me off my feet, to pull me up to his height for more leverage. I take his groan for my cue to kiss him harder. He ignores his cell phone ringing in his pocket. I ignore the rest of the universe. Even when headlights approach, I'm willing to overlook their intrusion and keep kissing. But, prince that he is, Galen is a little more refined than me at this moment. He gently pries his lips from mine and sets me down. His smile is both intoxicated and intoxicating. "We still need to talk." "Right," I say, but I'm shaking my head. He laughs. "I didn't come all the way to Atlantic City to make you cry." "I'm not crying." I lean into him again. He doesn't refuse my lips, but he doesn't do them justice either, planting a measly little kiss on them before stepping back.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
He had not stopped looking into her eyes, and she showed no signs of faltering. He gave a deep sigh and recited: "O sweet treasures, discovered to my sorrow." She did not understand. "It is a verse by the grandfather of my great-great-grandmother," he explained. "He wrote three eclogues, two elegies, five songs, and forty sonnets. Most of them for a Portuguese lady of very ordinary charms who was never his, first because he was married, and then because she married another man and died before he did." "Was he a priest too?" "A soldier," he said. Something stirred in the heart of Sierva María, for she wanted to hear the verse again. He repeated it, and this time he continued, in an intense, well-articulated voice, until he had recited the last of the forty sonnets by the cavalier of amours and arms Don Garcilaso de la Vega, killed in his prime by a stone hurled in battle.When he had finished, Cayetano took Sierva María's hand and placed it over his heart. She felt the internal clamor of his suffering. "I am always in this state," he said. And without giving his panic an opportunity, he unburdened himself of the dark truth that did not permit him to live. He confessed that every moment was filled with thoughts of her, that everything he ate and drank tasted of her, that she was his life, always and everywhere, as only God had the right and power to be, and that the supreme joy of his heart would be to die with her. He continued to speak without looking at her, with the same fluidity and passion as when he recited poetry, until it seemed to him that Sierva María was sleeping. But she was awake, her eyes, like those of a startled deer, fixed on him. She almost did not dare to ask: "And now?" "And now nothing," he said. "It is enough for me that you know." He could not go on. Weeping in silence, he slipped his arm beneath her head to serve as a pillow, and she curled up at his side. And so they remained, not sleeping, not talking, until the roosters began to crow and he had to hurry to arrive in time for five-o'clock Mass. Before he left, Sierva María gave him the beautiful necklace of Oddúa: eighteen inches of mother-of-pearl and coral beads. Panic had been replaced by the yearning in his heart. Delaura knew no peace, he carried out his tasks in a haphazard way, he floated until the joyous hour when he escaped the hospital to see Sierva María. He would reach the cell gasping for breath, soaked by the perpetual rains, and she would wait for him with so much longing that only his smile allowed her to breathe again. One night she took the initiative with the verses she had learned after hearing them so often. 'When I stand and contemplate my fate and see the path along which you have led me," she recited. And asked with a certain slyness: "What's the rest of it?" "I reach my end, for artless I surrendered to one who is my undoing and my end," he said. She repeated the lines with the same tenderness, and so they continued until the end of the book, omitting verses, corrupting and twisting the sonnets to suit themselves, toying with them with the skill of masters. They fell asleep exhausted. At five the warder brought in breakfast, to the uproarious crowing of the roosters, and they awoke in alarm. Life stopped for them.
Gabriel García Márquez (Of Love and Other Demons)
I feel him beside me, hear the even sound of his breathing, smell the delicious saltiness of his skin. I have missed him. I move to face him, and that’s when the pain reminds me that I’ve recently been stabbed. I bury my face in the pillow, but it doesn’t quite muffle my yelp. “Emma?” Galen says groggily. I feel his hand in my hair, stroking the length of it. “Don’t move, angelfish. Stay on your stomach. I’ll go tell Rachel you’re ready for more pain medicine.” Immediately I disobey and turn my face up to him. He shakes his head. “I’ve recently learned where your stubbornness comes from.” I grimace/smile. “My mom?” “Worse. King Antonis. The resemblance is uncanny.” He leans down and presses his lips to mine and all too quickly springs back up. “Now, be a good little deviant and stay put while I go get more pain meds.” “Galen,” I say. “Hmmm?” “How bad am I hurt?” He caresses the outline of my cheek. His touch could disintegrate me. “Hurt at all is bad enough for me.” “Yeah, but you’ve always been a baby about this stuff.” I grin at his faux offense. “Your mother says it’s only a flesh wound. She’s been treating it.” “Mom is here?” “She’s downstairs. Uh…You should know that Grom is here, too.” Grom left the tribunal and headed for land? Did that mean it all ended badly? Well, even worse than my getting impaled? An urgent need to know everything about everything shimmies through me. “Whoa. Sit. Talk. Now.” He laughs. “I will, I promise. But I want to make you comfortable first.” “Well, then, you need to come over here and switch places with the bed.” A blush fills my cheeks, but I don’t care. I need him. All of him. It feels like forever since we’ve talked like this, just me and him. But talking usually doesn’t last long. Lips were made for other things, too. And Galen is especially good at the other things. He walks back and squats by the bed. “You have no idea how tempting that is.” It seems like the violet of his eyes gets darker. It’s the color they get when he has to pull away from me, when we’re about to violate a bunch of Syrena laws if we don’t stop. “But you’re not well enough to…” He runs a hand through his hair. “I’ll go get Rachel. Then we can talk.” I’m a little surprised that his argument didn’t begin with “But the law…” That is what has stopped us in the past. Now the only thing that appears to be stopping us is my stabby condition. What’s changed? And why am I not excited about it? I used to get so frustrated when he would pull away. But a small part of me loved that about him, his respect for the law and for the tradition of his people. His respect for me. Respect is a hard thing to come by when picking from among human boys. Is that respect gone? And is it my fault?
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
The Idiot. I have read it once, and find that I don't remember the events of the book very well--or even all the principal characters. But mostly the 'portrait of a truly beautiful person' that dostoevsky supposedly set out to write in that book. And I remember how Myshkin seemed so simple when I began the book, but by the end, I realized how I didn't understand him at all. the things he did. Maybe when I read it again it will be different. But the plot of these dostoevsky books can hold such twists and turns for the first-time reader-- I guess that's b/c he was writing most of these books as serials that had to have cliffhangers and such. But I make marks in my books, mostly at parts where I see the author's philosophical points standing in the most stark relief. My copy of Moby Dick is positively full of these marks. The Idiot, I find has a few... Part 3, Section 5. The sickly Ippolit is reading from his 'Explanation' or whatever its called. He says his convictions are not tied to him being condemned to death. It's important for him to describe, of happiness: "you may be sure that Columbus was happy not when he had discovered America, but when he was discovering it." That it's the process of life--not the end or accomplished goals in it--that matter. Well. Easier said than lived! Part 3, Section 6. more of Ippolit talking--about a christian mindset. He references Jesus's parable of The Word as seeds that grow in men, couched in a description of how people are interrelated over time; its a picture of a multiplicity. Later in this section, he relates looking at a painting of Christ being taken down from the cross, at Rogozhin's house. The painting produced in him an intricate metaphor of despair over death "in the form of a huge machine of the most modern construction which, dull and insensible, has aimlessly clutched, crushed, and swallowed up a great priceless Being, a Being worth all nature and its laws, worth the whole earth, which was created perhaps solely for the sake of the advent of this Being." The way Ippolit's ideas are configured, here, reminds me of the writings of Gilles Deleuze. And the phrasing just sort of remidns me of the way everyone feels--many people feel crushed by the incomprehensible machine, in life. Many people feel martyred in their very minor ways. And it makes me think of the concept that a narrative religion like Christianity uniquely allows for a kind of socialized or externalized, shared experience of subjectivity. Like, we all know the story of this man--and it feels like our own stories at the same time. Part 4, Section 7. Myshkin's excitement (leading to a seizure) among the Epanchin's dignitary guests when he talks about what the nobility needs to become ("servants in order to be leaders"). I'm drawn to things like this because it's affirming, I guess, for me: "it really is true that we're absurd, that we're shallow, have bad habits, that we're bored, that we don't know how to look at things, that we can't understand; we're all like that." And of course he finds a way to make that into a good thing. which, it's pointed out by scholars, is very important to Dostoevsky philosophy--don't deny the earthly passions and problems in yourself, but accept them and incorporate them into your whole person. Me, I'm still working on that one.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
I remember once when I had been giving a talk to the R.A.F., an old, hard-bitten officer got up and said, ‘I’ve no use for all that stuff. But, mind you, I’m a religious man too. I know there’s a God. I’ve felt Him: out alone in the desert at night: the tremendous mystery. And that’s just why I don’t believe all your neat little dogmas and formulas about Him. To anyone who’s met the real thing they all seem so petty and pedantic and unreal!’ Now in a sense I quite agreed with that man. I think he had probably had a real experience of God in the desert. And when he turned from that experience to the Christian creeds, I think he really was turning from something real to something less real. In the same way, if a man has once looked at the Atlantic from the beach, and then goes and looks at a map of the Atlantic, he also will be turning from something real to something less real: turning from real waves to a bit of coloured paper. But here comes the point. The map is admittedly only coloured paper, but there are two things you have to remember about it. In the first place, it is based on what hundreds and thousands of people have found out by sailing the real Atlantic. In that way it has behind it masses of experience just as real as the one you could have from the beach; only, while yours would be a single glimpse, the map fits all those different experiences together. In the second place, if you want to go anywhere, the map is absolutely necessary. As long as you are content with walks on the beach, your own glimpses are far more fun than looking at a map. But the map is going to be more use than walks on the beach if you want to get to America.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
New Rule: America must stop bragging it's the greatest country on earth, and start acting like it. I know this is uncomfortable for the "faith over facts" crowd, but the greatness of a country can, to a large degree, be measured. Here are some numbers. Infant mortality rate: America ranks forty-eighth in the world. Overall health: seventy-second. Freedom of the press: forty-fourth. Literacy: fifty-fifth. Do you realize there are twelve-year old kids in this country who can't spell the name of the teacher they're having sex with? America has done many great things. Making the New World democratic. The Marshall Plan. Curing polio. Beating Hitler. The deep-fried Twinkie. But what have we done for us lately? We're not the freest country. That would be Holland, where you can smoke hash in church and Janet Jackson's nipple is on their flag. And sadly, we're no longer a country that can get things done. Not big things. Like building a tunnel under Boston, or running a war with competence. We had six years to fix the voting machines; couldn't get that done. The FBI is just now getting e-mail. Prop 87 out here in California is about lessening our dependence on oil by using alternative fuels, and Bill Clinton comes on at the end of the ad and says, "If Brazil can do it, America can, too!" Since when did America have to buck itself up by saying we could catch up to Brazil? We invented the airplane and the lightbulb, they invented the bikini wax, and now they're ahead? In most of the industrialized world, nearly everyone has health care and hardly anyone doubts evolution--and yes, having to live amid so many superstitious dimwits is also something that affects quality of life. It's why America isn't gonna be the country that gets the inevitable patents in stem cell cures, because Jesus thinks it's too close to cloning. Oh, and did I mention we owe China a trillion dollars? We owe everybody money. America is a debtor nation to Mexico. We're not a bridge to the twenty-first century, we're on a bus to Atlantic City with a roll of quarters. And this is why it bugs me that so many people talk like it's 1955 and we're still number one in everything. We're not, and I take no glee in saying that, because I love my country, and I wish we were, but when you're number fifty-five in this category, and ninety-two in that one, you look a little silly waving the big foam "number one" finger. As long as we believe being "the greatest country in the world" is a birthright, we'll keep coasting on the achievements of earlier generations, and we'll keep losing the moral high ground. Because we may not be the biggest, or the healthiest, or the best educated, but we always did have one thing no other place did: We knew soccer was bullshit. And also we had the Bill of Rights. A great nation doesn't torture people or make them disappear without a trial. Bush keeps saying the terrorist "hate us for our freedom,"" and he's working damn hard to see that pretty soon that won't be a problem.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
But you see, "libertarian" has a special meaning in the United States. The United Statesis off the spectrum of the main tradition in this respect: what's called "libertarianism" here is unbridled capitalism. Now, that's always been opposed in the European libertarian tradition, where every anarchist has been a socialist—because the point is, if you have unbridled capitalism, you have all kinds of authority: you have extreme authority. If capital is privately controlled, then people are going to have to rent themselves in order to survive. Now, you can say, "they rent themselves freely, it's a free contract"—but that's a joke. If your choice is, "do what I tell you or starve," that's not a choice—it's in fact what was commonly referred to as wage slavery in more civilized times, like the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, for example. The American version of "libertarianism" is an aberration, though—nobody really takes it seriously. I mean, everybody knows that a society that worked by American libertarian principles would self-destruct in three seconds. The only reason people pretend to take it seriously is because you can use it as a weapon. Like, when somebody comes out in favor of a tax, you can say: "No, I'm a libertarian, I'm against that tax"—but of course, I'm still in favor of the government building roads, and having schools, and killing Libyans, and all that sort of stuff. Now, there are consistent libertarians, people like Murray Rothbard [American academic]—and if you just read the world that they describe, it's a world so full of hate that no human being would want to live in it. This is a world where you don't have roads because you don't see any reason why you should cooperate in building a road that you're not going to use: if you want a road, you get together with a bunch of other people who are going to use that road and you build it, then you charge people to ride on it. If you don't like the pollution from somebody's automobile, you take them to court and you litigate it. Who would want to live in a world like that? It's a world built on hatred. The whole thing's not even worth talking about, though. First of all, it couldn't function for a second-and if it could, all you'd want to do is get out, or commit suicide or something. But this is a special American aberration, it's not really serious.
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky)
You and McNab sat around talking about women and sports." "I don't believe we got to sports. He had a woman on his mind." Eve's sneer vanished. "You talked to him about Peabody? Damn it, Roarke." "I could hardly slap him back. He's so pitifully smitten." "Oh." She winced. "Don't use that word." "It fits. In fact, if he took my advice ..." He turned his wrist, glanced at the unit fastened there. "They should be well into their first date by now." "Date? Date? Why did you do that? Why did you go and do something like that? Couldn't you leave it alone? They'd have had sex until they burned out on it, and everything would go back to normal." He angled his head. "That didn't work for us, did it?" "We don't work together." Then, when his eyes brightened with pure amusement, she showed her teeth. "Officially. You start mixing cops and romance and case files and gooey looks at briefings, you've got nothing but a mess. Next thing you know, Peabody will be wearing lip dye and smelly girl stuff and dragging body skimmers under her uniform." She dropped her head in her hands. "Then they'll have tiffs and misunderstandings that have nothing whatsoever to do with the job. They'll come at me from both sides, and before you know it, they'll be telling me things I absolutely do not want to know. And when they break it off and decide they hate each other down to the guts, I'll have to hear about that, too, and why they can't possibly work together, or breathe the same air, until I have no choice, absolutely no choice, but to kick both of their asses." "Eve, your sunny view on life never fails to lift my spirits." "And -- " She poked him in the chest. "It's all your fault." He grabbed her finger, nipped it, not so gently. "If that's the case, I'm going to insist they name their first child after me.
J.D. Robb (Witness in Death (In Death, #10))
I made it three days before the text messages started one afternoon while I was trying to finish warming up before our afternoon session. I had gotten to the LC later than usual and had gone straight to the training room, praising Jesus that I’d decided to change my clothes before leaving the diner once I’d seen what time it was and had remembered lunchtime traffic was a real thing. I was in the middle of stretching my hips when my phone beeped from where I’d left it on top of my bag. I took it out and snickered immediately at the message after taking my time with it. Jojo: WHAT THE FUCK JASMINE I didn’t need to ask what my brother was what-the-fucking over. It had only been a matter of time. It was really hard to keep a secret in my family, and the only reason why my mom and Ben—who was the only person other than her who knew—had kept their mouths closed was because they had both agreed it would be more fun to piss off my siblings by not saying anything and letting them find out the hard way I was going to be competing again. Life was all about the little things. So, I’d slipped my phone back into my bag and kept stretching, not bothering to respond because it would just make him more mad. Twenty minutes later, while I was still busy stretching, I pulled my phone out and wasn’t surprised more messages appeared. Jojo: WHY WOULD YOU NOT TELL ME Jojo: HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME Jojo: DID THE REST OF YOU KEEP THIS FROM ME Tali: What happened? What did she not tell you? Tali: OH MY GOD, Jasmine, did you get knocked up? Tali: I swear, if you got knocked up, I’m going to beat the hell out of you. We talked about contraception when you hit puberty. Sebastian: Jasmine’s pregnant? Rubes: She’s not pregnant. Rubes: What happened, Jojo? Jojo: MOM DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS Tali: Would you just tell us what you’re talking about? Jojo: JASMINE IS SKATING WITH IVAN LUKOV Jojo: And I found out by going on Picturegram. Someone at the rink posted a picture of them in one of the training rooms. They were doing lifts. Jojo: JASMINE I SWEAR TO GOD YOU BETTER EXPLAIN EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW Tali: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IS THIS TRUE? Tali: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Jojo: I’m going on Lukov’s website right now to confirm this Rubes: I just called Mom but she isn’t answering the phone Tali: She knew about this. WHO ELSE KNEW? Sebastian: I didn’t. And quit texting Jas’s name over and over again. It’s annoying. She’s skating again. Good job, Jas. Happy for you. Jojo: ^^ You’re such a vibe kill Sebastian: No, I’m just not flipping my shit because she got a new partner. Jojo: SHE DIDN’T TELL US FIRST THO. What is the point of being related if we didn’t get the scoop before everybody else? Jojo: I FOUND OUT ON PICTUREGRAM Sebastian: She doesn’t like you. I wouldn’t tell you either. Tali: I can’t find anything about it online. Jojo: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Jojo: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Tali: Tell us everything or I’m coming over to Mom’s today. Sebastian: You’re annoying. Muting this until I get out of work. Jojo: Party pooper Tali: Party pooper Jojo: Jinx Tali: Jinx Sebastian: Annoying ... I typed out a reply, because knowing them, if I didn’t, the next time I looked at my phone, I’d have an endless column of JASMINE on there until they heard from me. That didn’t mean my response had to be what they wanted. Me: Who is Ivan Lukov?
Mariana Zapata (From Lukov with Love)
What's Toraf's favorite color?" She shrugs. "Whatever I tell him it is." I raise a brow at her. "Don't know, huh?" She crosses her arms. "Who cares anyway? We're not painting his toenails." "I think what's she's trying to say, honey bunches, is that maybe you should paint your nails his favorite color, to show him you're thinking about him," Rachel says, seasoning her words with tact. Rayna sets her chin. "Emma doesn't paint her nails Galen's favorite color." Startled that Galen has a favorite color and I don't know it, I say, "Uh, well, he doesn't like nail polish." That is to say, he's never mentioned it before. When a brilliant smile lights up her whole face, I know I've been busted. "You don't know his favorite color!" she says, actually pointing at me. "Yes, I do," I say, searching Rachel's face for the answer. She shrugs. Rayna's smirk is the epitome of I know something you don't know. Smacking it off her face is my first reflex, but I hold back, as I always do, because of the kiss I shared with Toraf and the way it hurt her. Sometimes I catch her looking at me with that same expression she had on the beach, and I feel like fungus, even though she deserved it at the time. Refusing to fold, I eye the buffet of nail polish scattered before me. Letting my fingers roam over the bottles, I shop the paints, hoping one of them stands out to me. To save my life, I can't think of any one color he wears more often. He doesn't have a favorite sport, so team colors are a no-go. Rachel picked his cars for him, so that's no help either. Biting my lip, I decide on an ocean blue. "Emma! Now I'm just ashamed of myself," he says from the doorway. "How could you not know my favorite color?" Startled, I drop the bottle back on the table. Since he's back so soon, I have to assume he didn't find what or who he wanted-and that he didn't hunt them for very long. Toraf materializes behind him, but Galen's shoulders are too broad to allow them both to stand in the doorway. Clearing my throat, I say, "I was just moving that bottle to get to the color I wanted." Rayna is all but doing a victory dance with her eyes. "Which is?" she asks, full of vicious glee. Toraf pushes past Galen and plops down next to his tiny mate. She leans into him, eager for his kiss. "I missed you," she whispers. "Not as much as I missed you," he tells her. Galen and I exchange eye rolls as he walks around to prop himself on the table beside me, his wet shorts making a butt-shaped puddle on the expensive wood. "Go ahead, angelfish," he says, nodding toward the pile of polish. If he's trying to give me a clue, he sucks at it. "Go" could mean green, I guess. "Ahead" could mean...I have no idea what that could mean. And angelfish come in all sorts of colors. Deciding he didn't encode any messages for me, I sigh and push away from the table to stand. "I don't know. We've never talked about it before." Rayna slaps her knee in triumph. "Ha!" Before I can pass by him, Galen grabs my wrist and pulls me to him, corralling me between his legs. Crushing his mouth to mine, he moves his hand to the small of my back and presses me into him. Since he's still shirtless and I'm in my bikini, there's a lot of bare flesh touching, which is a little more intimate than I'm used to with an audience. Still, the fire sears through me, scorching a path to the furthest, deepest parts of me. It takes every bit of grit I have not to wrap my arms around his neck. Gently, I push my hands against his chest to end the kiss, which is something I never thought I'd do. Giving him a look that I hope conveys "inappropriate," I step back. I've spent enough time in their company to know without looking that Rayna's eyes are bugging out of their sockets and Toraf is grinning like a nutcracker doll. With any luck, Rachel didn't even see the kiss. Stealing a peek at her, she meets my gaze with openmouthed shock. Okay, it looked as bad as I thought it did.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
At some point in this course, perhaps even tonight, you will read something difficult, something you only partially understand, and your verdict will be this is stupid. Will I argue when you advance that opinion in class the next day? Why would I do such a useless ting? My time with you in short, only thirty-four weeks of classes, and I will not waste it arguing about the merits of this short story or that poem. Why would I, when all such opinions are subjective, and no final resolution can ever be reached?' Some of the kids - Gloria was one of them - now looked lost, but Pete understood exactly what Mr. Ricker, aka Ricky the Hippie, was talking about... 'Time is the answer," Mr Ricker said on the first day of Pete's sophomore year. He strode back and forth, antique bellbottoms swishing, occasionally waving his arms. "Yes! Time mercilessly culls away the is-stupid from the not-stupid." ... "It will occur for you, young ladies and gentlemen, although I will be in your rear-view mirror by the time it happens. Shall I tell you how it happens? You will read something - perhaps 'Dulce et Decorum Est,' by Wilfred Owen. Shall we use that as an example? Why not?' Then, in a deeper voice that sent chills up Pete's back and tightened his throat, Mr. Ricker cried, " 'Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge...' And son on. Cetra-cetra. Some of you will say, This is stupid." .... 'And yet!" Up went the finger. "Time will pass! Tempus will fugit! Owen's poem may fall away from your mind, in which case your verdict of is-stupid will have turned out to be correct. For you, at least. But for some of you, it will recur. And recur. Each time it does, the steady march of your maturity will deepen its resonance. Each time that poem sneaks back into your mind, it will seem a little less stupid and a little more vital. A little more important. Until it shines, young ladies and gentlemen. Until it shines.
Stephen King (Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #2))
When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets,' Papa would say, 'she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing. "Spread your lips, sweet Lil," they'd cluck, "and show us your choppers!"' This same Crystal Lil, our star-haired mama, sitting snug on the built-in sofa that was Arty's bed at night, would chuckle at the sewing in her lap and shake her head. 'Don't piffle to the children, Al. Those hens ran like whiteheads.' Nights on the road this would be, between shows and towns in some campground or pull-off, with the other vans and trucks and trailers of Binewski's Carnival Fabulon ranged up around us, safe in our portable village. After supper, sitting with full bellies in the lamp glow, we Binewskis were supposed to read and study. But if it rained the story mood would sneak up on Papa. The hiss and tick on the metal of our big living van distracted him from his papers. Rain on a show night was catastrophe. Rain on the road meant talk, which, for Papa, was pure pleasure. 'It's a shame and a pity, Lil,' he'd say, 'that these offspring of yours should only know the slumming summer geeks from Yale.' 'Princeton, dear,' Mama would correct him mildly. 'Randall will be a sophomore this fall. I believe he's our first Princeton boy.' We children would sense our story slipping away to trivia. Arty would nudge me and I'd pipe up with, 'Tell about the time when Mama was the geek!' and Arty and Elly and Iphy and Chick would all slide into line with me on the floor between Papa's chair and Mama. Mama would pretend to be fascinated by her sewing and Papa would tweak his swooping mustache and vibrate his tangled eyebrows, pretending reluctance. 'WellIll . . .' he'd begin, 'it was a long time ago . . .' 'Before we were born!' 'Before . . .' he'd proclaim, waving an arm in his grandest ringmaster style, 'before I even dreamed you, my dreamlets!' 'I was still Lillian Hinchcliff in those days,' mused Mama. 'And when your father spoke to me, which was seldom and reluctantly, he called me "Miss." ' 'Miss!' we would giggle. Papa would whisper to us loudly, as though Mama couldn't hear, 'Terrified! I was so smitten I'd stutter when I tried to talk to her. "M-M-M-Miss . . ." I'd say.' We'd giggle helplessly at the idea of Papa, the GREAT TALKER, so flummoxed. 'I, of course, addressed your father as Mister Binewski.
Katherine Dunn (Geek Love)
Things I Used to Get Hit For: Talking back. Being smart. Acting stupid. Not listening. Not answering the first time. Not doing what I’m told. Not doing it the second time I’m told. Running, jumping, yelling, laughing, falling down, skipping stairs, lying in the snow, rolling in the grass, playing in the dirt, walking in mud, not wiping my feet, not taking my shoes off. Sliding down the banister, acting like a wild Indian in the hallway. Making a mess and leaving it. Pissing my pants, just a little. Peeing the bed, hardly at all. Sleeping with a butter knife under my pillow. Shitting the bed because I was sick and it just ran out of me, but still my fault because I’m old enough to know better. Saying shit instead of crap or poop or number two. Not knowing better. Knowing something and doing it wrong anyway. Lying. Not confessing the truth even when I don’t know it. Telling white lies, even little ones, because fibbing isn’t fooling and not the least bit funny. Laughing at anything that’s not funny, especially cripples and retards. Covering up my white lies with more lies, black lies. Not coming the exact second I’m called. Getting out of bed too early, sometimes before the birds, and turning on the TV, which is one reason the picture tube died. Wearing out the cheap plastic hole on the channel selector by turning it so fast it sounds like a machine gun. Playing flip-and-catch with the TV’s volume button then losing it down the hole next to the radiator pipe. Vomiting. Gagging like I’m going to vomit. Saying puke instead of vomit. Throwing up anyplace but in the toilet or in a designated throw-up bucket. Using scissors on my hair. Cutting Kelly’s doll’s hair really short. Pinching Kelly. Punching Kelly even though she kicked me first. Tickling her too hard. Taking food without asking. Eating sugar from the sugar bowl. Not sharing. Not remembering to say please and thank you. Mumbling like an idiot. Using the emergency flashlight to read a comic book in bed because batteries don’t grow on trees. Splashing in puddles, even the puddles I don’t see until it’s too late. Giving my mother’s good rhinestone earrings to the teacher for Valentine’s Day. Splashing in the bathtub and getting the floor wet. Using the good towels. Leaving the good towels on the floor, though sometimes they fall all by themselves. Eating crackers in bed. Staining my shirt, tearing the knee in my pants, ruining my good clothes. Not changing into old clothes that don’t fit the minute I get home. Wasting food. Not eating everything on my plate. Hiding lumpy mashed potatoes and butternut squash and rubbery string beans or any food I don’t like under the vinyl seat cushions Mom bought for the wooden kitchen chairs. Leaving the butter dish out in summer and ruining the tablecloth. Making bubbles in my milk. Using a straw like a pee shooter. Throwing tooth picks at my sister. Wasting toothpicks and glue making junky little things that no one wants. School papers. Notes from the teacher. Report cards. Whispering in church. Sleeping in church. Notes from the assistant principal. Being late for anything. Walking out of Woolworth’s eating a candy bar I didn’t pay for. Riding my bike in the street. Leaving my bike out in the rain. Getting my bike stolen while visiting Grandpa Rudy at the hospital because I didn’t put a lock on it. Not washing my feet. Spitting. Getting a nosebleed in church. Embarrassing my mother in any way, anywhere, anytime, especially in public. Being a jerk. Acting shy. Being impolite. Forgetting what good manners are for. Being alive in all the wrong places with all the wrong people at all the wrong times.
Bob Thurber (Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel)
Why didn't you tell me?" "I know you won't believe it, but I thought it would be best for you. You were doing so well until I came back. I thought you could go back to how it was. You still can." "Don't say that,Becks.We're going to figure something out." "I know.Even so,I understand that it would've been easier for you if I'd never come back.Maybe you and Jules..." His grip on my arm tightened,and when he spoke,his voice wavered. "Becks. I crashed when you left.Jules held together the pieces,and I will love her forever for that.But if I was with her, it wouldn't be right." He grimaced. "She told me so herself, right before I left with Will. She knew." Jack pushed my hair out of my eyes and off my forehead. "Um,she knew what?" I could barely hear my own voice. "It's always been you,Becks. Nothing will change that,no matter how much time has passed." He glanced down. "No matter if you feel the same way or not. You know what,right?" I shook my head slowly,wanting desperately to believe him, but not sure if I could. "How can you not see that? Everyone sees it." He slid his hand down my arm and grabbed my fingers, holding them in his lip,tracing them. Staring at them. "Remember freshman year? How Bozeman asked you to the Spring Fling?" Bozeman. He was two years older than me. Played offensive lineman. His first name was Zachary, but nobody had called him that since the third grade. I'd been surprised he even knew my name, let alone asked me to the dance. "Of course I remember.You came with me to answer him." We doorbell-ditched Bozeman's house, leaving a two-liter bottle of Coke and a note that said I'd pop to go to the dance with you, or something like that. Bozeman had a reputation for fast hands, but he didn't try anything with me. In fact,he barely touched me at all, even at the fling.And he never asked me out again.Or even talked to me, really.It was weird. "Yeah,well,I didn't tell you, but Bozeman actually asked my permission." "Why?" "Because it was obvious to everyone, except you,how I felt about you.And then that night with the Coke on the porch...after I dropped you off at home, I paid Bozeman a visit." His cheeks went pink and he lowered his eyes. "And?" "Let's just say I rescinded my permission. I didn't realize how much it would bother me." His eyes met mine. I could only imagine what was said between Jack and the lineman, who was twice his size. "Don't be mad," Jack said. Like I'd be angry after everything we'd been through. "I...I'm telling you this because you have to know that it's always been you. And it will always be you.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
After a long and happy life, I find myself at the pearly gates (a sight of great joy; the word for “pearl” in Greek is, by the way, margarita). Standing there is St. Peter. This truly is heaven, for finally my academic questions will receive answers. I immediately begin the questions that have been plaguing me for half a century: “Can you speak Greek? Where did you go when you wandered off in the middle of Acts? How was the incident between you and Paul in Antioch resolved? What happened to your wife?” Peter looks at me with some bemusement and states, “Look, lady, I’ve got a whole line of saved people to process. Pick up your harp and slippers here, and get the wings and halo at the next table. We’ll talk after dinner.” As I float off, I hear, behind me, a man trying to gain Peter’s attention. He has located a “red letter Bible,” which is a text in which the words of Jesus are printed in red letters. This is heaven, and all sorts of sacred art and Scriptures, from the Bhagavad Gita to the Qur’an, are easily available (missing, however, was the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version). The fellow has his Bible open to John 14, and he is frenetically pointing at v. 6: “Jesus says here, in red letters, that he is the way. I’ve seen this woman on television (actually, she’s thinner in person). She’s not Christian; she’s not baptized - she shouldn’t be here!” “Oy,” says Peter, “another one - wait here.” He returns a few minutes later with a man about five foot three with dark hair and eyes. I notice immediately that he has holes in his wrists, for when the empire executes an individual, the circumstances of that death cannot be forgotten. “What is it, my son?” he asks. The man, obviously nonplussed, sputters, “I don’t mean to be rude, but didn’t you say that no one comes to the Father except through you?” “Well,” responds Jesus, “John does have me saying this.” (Waiting in line, a few other biblical scholars who overhear this conversation sigh at Jesus’s phrasing; a number of them remain convinced that Jesus said no such thing. They’ll have to make the inquiry on their own time.) “But if you flip back to the Gospel of Matthew, which does come first in the canon, you’ll notice in chapter 25, at the judgment of the sheep and the goats, that I am not interested in those who say ‘Lord, Lord,’ but in those who do their best to live a righteous life: feeding the hungry, visiting people in prison . . . ” Becoming almost apoplectic, the man interrupts, “But, but, that’s works righteousness. You’re saying she’s earned her way into heaven?” “No,” replies Jesus, “I am not saying that at all. I am saying that I am the way, not you, not your church, not your reading of John’s Gospel, and not the claim of any individual Christian or any particular congregation. I am making the determination, and it is by my grace that anyone gets in, including you. Do you want to argue?” The last thing I recall seeing, before picking up my heavenly accessories, is Jesus handing the poor man a Kleenex to help get the log out of his eye.
Amy-Jill Levine (The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus)
The answer to that question is…I won’t. You belong with me. Which leads me to the discussion I wanted to have with you.” “Where I belong is for me to decide, and though I may listen to what you have to say, that doesn’t mean I will agree with you.” “Fair enough.” Ren pushed his empty plate to the side. “We have some unfinished business to take care of.” “If you mean the other tasks we have to do, I’m already aware of that.” “I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about us.” “What about us?” I put my hands under the table and wiped my clammy palms on my napkin. “I think there are a few things we’ve left unsaid, and I think it’s time we said them.” “I’m not withholding anything from you, if that’s what you mean.” “You are.” “No. I’m not.” “Are you refusing to acknowledge what has happened between us?” “I’m not refusing anything. Don’t try to put words in my mouth.” “I’m not. I’m simply trying to convince a stubborn woman to admit that she has feelings for me.” “If I did have feelings for you, you’d be the first one to know.” “Are you saying that you don’t feel anything for me?” “That’s not what I’m saying.” “Then what are you saying?” “I’m saying…nothing!” I spluttered. Ren smiled and narrowed his eyes at me. If he kept up this line of questioning, he was bound to catch me in a lie. I’m not a very good liar. He sat back in his chair. “Fine. I’ll let you off the hook for now, but we will talk about this later. Tigers are relentless once they set their minds to something. You don’t be able to evade me forever.” Casually, I replied, “Don’t get your hopes up, Mr. Wonderful. Every hero has his Kryptonite, and you don’t intimidate me.” I twisted my napkin in my lap while he tracked my every move with his probing eyes. I felt stripped down, as if he could see into the very heart of me. When the waitress came back, Ren smiled at her as she offered a smaller menu, probably featuring desserts. She leaned over him while I tapped my strappy shoe in frustration. He listened attentively to her. Then, the two of them laughed again. He spoke quietly, gesturing to me, and she looked my way, giggled, and then cleared all the plates quickly. He pulled out a wallet and handed her a credit card. She put her hand on his arm to ask him another question, and I couldn’t help myself. I kicked him under the table. He didn’t even blink or look at me. He just reached his arm across the table, took my hand in his, and rubbed the back of it absentmindedly with his thumb as he answered her question. It was like my kick was a love tap to him. It only made him happier. When she left, I narrowed my eyes at him and asked, “How did you get that card, and what were you saying to her about me?” “Mr. Kadam gave me the card, and I told her that we would be having our dessert…later.” I laughed facetiously. “You mean you will be having dessert later by yourself this evening because I am done eating with you.” He leaned across the candlelit table and said, “Who said anything about eating, Kelsey?” He must be joking! But he looked completely serious. Great! There go the nervous butterflies again. “Stop looking at me like that.” “Like what?” “Like you’re hunting me. I’m not an antelope.” He laughed. “Ah, but the chase would be exquisite, and you would be a most succulent catch.” “Stop it.” “Am I making you nervous?” “You could say that.” I stood up abruptly as he was signing the receipt and made my way toward the door. He was next to me in an instant. He leaned over. “I’m not letting you escape, remember? Now, behave like a good date and let me walk you home. It’s the least you could do since you wouldn’t talk with me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
I watched the light flicker on the limestone walls until Archer said, "I wish we could go to the movies." I stared at him. "We're in a creepy dungeon. There's a chance I might die in the next few hours. You are going to die in the next few hours. And if you had one wish, it would be to catch a movie?" He shook his head. "That's not what I meant. I wish we weren't like this. You know, demon, demon-hunter. I wish I'd met you in a normal high school, and taken you on normal dates, and like, carried your books or something." Glancing over at me, he squinted and asked, "Is that a thing humans actually do?" "Not outside of 1950s TV shows," I told him, reaching up to touch his hair. He wrapped an arm around me and leaned against the wall, pulling me to his chest. I drew my legs up under me and rested my cheek on his collarbone. "So instead of stomping around forests hunting ghouls, you want to go to the movies and school dances." "Well,maybe we could go on the occasional ghoul hunt," he allowed before pressing a kiss to my temple. "Keep things interesting." I closed my eyes. "What else would we do if we were regular teenagers?" "Hmm...let's see.Well,first of all, I'd need to get some kind of job so I could afford to take you on these completely normal dates. Maybe I could stock groceries somewhere." The image of Archer in a blue apron, putting boxes of Nilla Wafers on a shelf at Walmart was too bizarre to even contemplate, but I went along with it. "We could argue in front of our lockers all dramatically," I said. "That's something I saw a lot at human high schools." He squeezed me in a quick hug. "Yes! Now that sounds like a good time. And then I could come to your house in the middle of the night and play music really loudly under your window until you took me back." I chuckled. "You watch too many movies. Ooh, we could be lab partners!" "Isn't that kind of what we were in Defense?" "Yeah,but in a normal high school, there would be more science, less kicking each other in the face." "Nice." We spent the next few minutes spinning out scenarios like this, including all the sports in which Archer's L'Occhio di Dio skills would come in handy, and starring in school plays.By the time we were done, I was laughing, and I realized that, for just a little while, I'd managed to forget what a huge freaking mess we were in. Which had probably been the point. Once our laughter died away, the dread started seeping back in. Still, I tried to joke when I said, "You know, if I do live through this, I'm gonna be covered in funky tattoos like the Vandy. You sure you want to date the Illustrated Woman, even if it's just for a little while?" He caught my chin and raised my eyes to his. "Trust me," he said softly, "you could have a giant tiger tattooed on your face, and I'd still want to be with you." "Okay,seriously,enough with the swoony talk," I told him, leaning in closer. "I like snarky, mean Archer." He grinned. "In that case, shut up, Mercer.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
What do you know about me, Isabeau?" He leaned forward, and I forced myself to stay still instead of shying away. He was so close that I could smell the subtle notes of his cologne: musk and wood with a hint of leather. What did he want me to say? That everyone said he was an ogre? Or that they all wanted to sleep with him anyway? "I..." "Go on. You won't hurt my feelings." He was still smiling, slight dimples visible in both cheeks. The sight was destracting, to say the least. "I know that you're the youngest CEO and partner in the company's history, and I know that you earned the spot by working your way up after graduate school instead of using your inheritance as a crutch." "Everyone knows that. What do you know about me? The real stuff. None of this press release bullshit." I looked down at my hands, anything not to have to look up at his face so close to me. "Um. People say... they say that you're scary. And that your assistants don't last long." He laughed, a deep, warm sound that seemed to fill up the office. I glanced up to see him smirking at me. I relaxed my grip on the desk a little. Maybe I wasn't being fired after all. "What else do they say?" Oh, God. He can't possibly want me to tell him everything. Does he? The look on his face confirmed that he did. It was clear by the way he looked at me that I wasn't leaving this office until I gave him exactly what he wanted. "They say. Um... They say that you're very, uh, good looking... and impossible to please." "Oh they do, do they?" He sat back, and tented his fingers beneath his chin. "Well, do you agree with them? Do you think I'm scary, handsome and woefully unsatisfied?" My mouth dropped open, and I quickly closed it with a snap. "Yes. I mean, no! I mean, I don't know..." He stood, then, and leaned in close, towering over me. "You were right the first time." Anxiety coursed through me, but I have to admit, being this close to him, smelling his scent and feeling the heat radiating off his body, it made me wonder what it would be like to be in his arms. To be his. To be owned by him... His face was almost touching mine when he whispered to me. "I am unsatisfied, Isabeau. I want you to be my new assistant. Will you do that for me? Will you be at my beck and call?" My breath left me as his words sunk in. When I finally regained it, I felt like I was trembling from head to toe. His beck and call. "Wh-what about your old assistant?" Mr. Drake leaned back again and took my chin in his hand, forcing my eyes to his. "What about her? I want you." His touch on my skin was electric. Are we still talking about business? "Yes, Mr. Drake." His thumb stroked my cheek for the briefest of moments, and then he released me, breathless, and wondering what I'd just agreed to.
Delilah Fawkes (At His Service (The Billionaire's Beck and Call, #1))
At some point, sisters began to talk about how unseen they have felt. How the media has focused on men, but it has been them - the sisters - who were there. They were there, in overwhelming numbers, just as they were during the civil rights movement. Women - all women, trans women - are roughly 80% of the people who were staring down the terror of Ferguson, saying “we are the caretakers of this community”. Is it women who are out there, often with their children, calling for an end to police violence, saying “we have a right to raise our children without fear”. But it is not women’s courage that is showcased in the media. One sister says “when the police move in we do not run, we stay. And for this, we deserve recognition”. Their words will live with us, will live in us, as Ferguson begins to unfold and as the national attention begins to really focus on what Alicia, Opal and I have started. The first time there’s coverage of Black Lives Matter in a way that is positive is on the Melissa Harris-Perry show. She does not invite us - it isn’t intentional, I’m certain of that. And about a year later she does, but in this early moment, and despite the overwhelming knowledge of the people on the ground who are talking about what Alicia, Opal and I have done, and despite of it being part of the historical record, that it is always women who do the work even as men get the praise. It takes a long time for us to occur to most reporters and the mainstream. Living in patriarchy means that the default inclination is to center men and their voices, not women and their work. The fact seems ever more exacerbated in our day and age, when presence on twitter, when the number of followers one has, can supplant the everyday and heralded work of those who, by virtue of that work, may not have time to tweet constantly or sharpen and hone their personal brand so that it is an easily sellable commodity. Like the women who organized, strategized, marched, cooked, typed up and did the work to ensure the civil rights movement; women whose names go unspoken, unknown, so too that this dynamic unfolds as the nation began to realize that we were a movement. Opal, Alicia and I never wanted or needed to be the center of anything. We were purposeful about decentralizing our role in the work, but neither did we want, nor deserved, to be erased.
Patrisse Khan-Cullors (When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir)
I know this may be a disappointment for some of you, but I don’t believe there is only one right person for you. I think I fell in love with my wife, Harriet, from the first moment I saw her. Nevertheless, had she decided to marry someone else, I believe I would have met and fallen in love with someone else. I am eternally grateful that this didn’t happen, but I don’t believe she was my one chance at happiness in this life, nor was I hers. Another error you might easily make in dating is expecting to find perfection in the person you are with. The truth is, the only perfect people you might know are those you don’t know very well. Everyone has imperfections. Now, I’m not suggesting you lower your standards and marry someone with whom you can’t be happy. But one of the things I’ve realized as I’ve matured in life is that if someone is willing to accept me—imperfect as I am—then I should be willing to be patient with others’ imperfections as well. Since you won’t find perfection in your partner, and your partner won’t find it in you, your only chance at perfection is in creating perfection together. There are those who do not marry because they feel a lack of “magic” in the relationship. By “magic” I assume they mean sparks of attraction. Falling in love is a wonderful feeling, and I would never counsel you to marry someone you do not love. Nevertheless—and here is another thing that is sometimes hard to accept—that magic sparkle needs continuous polishing. When the magic endures in a relationship, it’s because the couple made it happen, not because it mystically appeared due to some cosmic force. Frankly, it takes work. For any relationship to survive, both parties bring their own magic with them and use that to sustain their love. Although I have said that I do not believe in a one-and-only soul mate for anyone, I do know this: once you commit to being married, your spouse becomes your soul mate, and it is your duty and responsibility to work every day to keep it that way. Once you have committed, the search for a soul mate is over. Our thoughts and actions turn from looking to creating. . . . Now, sisters, be gentle. It’s all right if you turn down requests for dates or proposals for marriage. But please do it gently. And brethren, please start asking! There are too many of our young women who never go on dates. Don’t suppose that certain girls would never go out with you. Sometimes they are wondering why no one asks them out. Just ask, and be prepared to move on if the answer is no. One of the trends we see in some parts of the world is our young people only “hanging out” in large groups rather than dating. While there is nothing wrong with getting together often with others your own age, I don’t know if you can really get to know individuals when you’re always in a group. One of the things you need to learn is how to have a conversation with a member of the opposite sex. A great way to learn this is by being alone with someone—talking without a net, so to speak. Dates don’t have to be—and in most cases shouldn’t be—expensive and over-planned affairs. When my wife and I moved from Germany to Salt Lake City, one of the things that most surprised us was the elaborate and sometimes stressful process young people had developed of asking for and accepting dates. Relax. Find simple ways to be together. One of my favorite things to do when I was young and looking for a date was to walk a young lady home after a Church meeting. Remember, your goal should not be to have a video of your date get a million views on YouTube. The goal is to get to know one individual person and learn how to develop a meaningful relationship with the opposite sex.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Mr. Kadam bowed and said, “Miss Kelsey, I will leave you to your dining companion. Enjoy your dinner.” Then he walked out of the restaurant. “Mr. Kadam, wait. I don’t understand.” Dining companion? What is he talking about? Maybe he’s confused. Just then, a deep, all-too-familiar voice behind me said, “Hello, Kells.” I froze, and my heart dropped into my stomach, stirring up about a billion butterflies. A few seconds passed. Or was it a few minutes? I couldn’t tell. I heard a sigh of frustration. “Are you still not talking to me? Turn around, please.” A warm hand slid under my elbow and gently turned me around. I raised my eyes and gasped softly. He was breathtaking! So handsome, I wanted to cry. “Ren.” He smiled. “Who else?” He was dressed in an elegant black suit and he’d had his hair cut. Glossy black hair was swept back away from his face in tousled layers that tapered to a slight curl at the nape of his neck. The white shirt he wore was unbuttoned at the collar. It set off his golden-bronze skin and his brilliant white smile, making him positively lethal to any woman who might cross his path. I groaned inwardly. He’s like…like James Bond, Antonio Banderas, and Brad Pitt all rolled into one. I decided the safest thing to do would be to look at his shoes. Shoes were boring, right? Not attractive at all. Ah. Much better. His shoes were nice, of course-polished and black, just like I would expect. I smiled wryly when I realized that this was the first time I’d ever seen Ren in shoes. He cupped my chin and made me look at his face. The jerk. Then it was his turn to appraise me. He looked me up and down. And not a quick look. He took it all in slowly. The kind of slow that made a girl’s face feel hot. I got mad at myself for blushing and glared at him. Nervous and impatient, I asked, “Are you finished?” “Almost.” He was now staring at my strappy shoes. “Well, hurry up!” His eyes drifted leisurely back up to my face and he smiled at me appreciatively, “Kelsey, when a man spends time with a beautiful woman, he needs to pace himself.” I quirked an eyebrow at him and laughed. “Yeah, I’m a regular marathon alright.” He kissed my fingers. “Exactly. A wise man never sprints…in a marathon.” “I was being sarcastic, Ren.” He ignored me and tucked my hand under his arm then led me over to a beautifully lit table. Pulling the chair out for me, he invited me to sit. I stood there wondering if I could sprint for the nearest exit. Stupid strappy shoes, I’d never make it. He leaned in close and whispered in my ear. “I know what you’re thinking, and I’m not going to let you escape again. You can either take a seat and have dinner with me like a normal date,” he grinned at his word choice, “or,” he paused thoughtfully then threatened, “you can sit on my lap while I force-feed you.” I hissed, “You wouldn’t dare. You’re too much of a gentleman to force me to do anything. It’s an empty bluff, Mr. Asks-For-Permission.” “Even a gentleman has his limits. One way or another, we’re going to have a civil conversation. I’m hoping I get to feed you from my lap, but it’s your choice.” He straightened up again and waited. I unceremoniously plunked down in my chair and scooted in noisily to the table. He laughed softly and took the chair across from me. I felt guilty because of the dress and readjusted my skirt so it wouldn’t wrinkle.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Desperately trying to remember her manners, she curtseyed and murmured, "Your Grace." The smile lines at his eyes deepened subtly. "You appear to be in need of rescue. Why don't you come inside with me, away from this riffraff? The duchess is eager to meet you." As Pandora hesitated, thoroughly intimidated, he assured her. "I'm quite trustworthy. In fact, I'm very nearly an angel. You'll come to love me in no time." "Take heed," Lord St. Vincent advised Pandora sardonically, fastening the loose sides of his vest. "My father is the pied piper of gullible women." "That's not true," the duke said, "The non-gullible ones follow me as well." Pandora couldn't help chuckling. She looked up into silvery-blue eyes lit with sparks of humor and playfulness. There was something reassuring about his presence, the sense of a man who truly liked women. When she and Cassandra were children, they had fantasized about a handsome father who would lavish them with affection and advice, and spoil them just a little, but not too much. A father who might have let them stand on his feet to dance. This man looked very much like the one Pandora had imagined. She moved forward and took his arm. "How was your journey, my dear?" the duke asked as he escorted her into the house. Before Pandora could reply, Lord St. Vincent spoke from behind them. "Lady Pandora doesn't like small talk, Father. She would prefer to discuss topics such as Darwin, or women's suffrage." "Naturally an intelligent young woman would wish to skip over mundane chitchat," the duke said, giving Pandora such an approving glance that she fairly glowed. "However," he continued thoughtfully, "most people need to be guided into a feeling of safety before they dare reveal their opinions to someone they've only just met. There's a beginning to everything, after all. Every opera has its prelude, every sonnet its opening quatrain. Small talk is merely a way of helping a stranger to trust you, by first finding something you can both agree on." "No one's ever explained it that way before," Pandora said with a touch of wonder. "It actually makes sense. But why must it be so often about weather? Isn't there something else we all agree on? Runcible spoons- everyone likes those, don't they? And teatime, and feeding ducks." "Blue ink," the duke added. "And a cat's purr. And summer storms- although I suppose that brings us back to weather." "I wouldn't mind talking about weather with you, Your Grace," Pandora said ingenuously. The duke laughed gently. "What a delightful girl.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
Rearview Mirror Syndrome One of the most crippling causes of mediocrity in life is a condition I call Rearview Mirror Syndrome (RMS). Our subconscious minds are equipped with a self-limiting rearview mirror, through which we continuously relive and recreate our past. We mistakenly believe that who we were is who we are, thus limiting our true potential in the present, based on the limitations of our past.   As a result, we filter every choice we make—from what time we will wake up in the morning to which goals we will set to what we allow ourselves to consider possible for our lives—through the limitations of our past experiences. We want to create a better life, but sometimes we don’t know how to see it any other way than how it’s always been.   Research shows that on any given day, the average person thinks somewhere between 50,000 and 60,000 thoughts. The problem is that ninety-five percent of our thoughts are the same as the ones we thought the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that. It’s no wonder most people go through life, day after day, month after month, year after year, and never change the quality of their lives.   Like old, worn baggage, we carry stress, fear, and worry from yesterday with us into today. When presented with opportunities, we quickly check our rearview mirror to assess our past capabilities. “No, I’ve never done anything like that before. I’ve never achieved at that level. In fact, I’ve failed, time and time again.”   When presented with adversity, we go back to our trusty rearview mirror for guidance on how to respond. “Yep, just my luck. This crap always happens to me. I’m just going to give up; that’s what I’ve always done when things get too difficult.”   If you are to move beyond your past and transcend your limitations, you must stop living out of your rearview mirror and start imagining a life of limitless possibilities. Accept the paradigm:  my past does not equal my future. Talk to yourself in a way that inspires confidence that not only is anything possible, but that you are capable and committed to making it so. It’s not even necessary to believe it at first. In fact, you probably won’t believe it. You might find it uncomfortable and that you resist doing it. That’s okay. Repeat it to yourself anyway, and your subconscious mind will begin to absorb the positive self-affirmations. (More on how to do this in Chapter 6:  The Life S.A.V.E.R.S.)   Don’t place unnecessary limitations on what you want for your life. Think bigger than you’ve allowed yourself to think up until this point. Get clear on what you truly want, condition yourself to the belief that it’s possible by focusing on and affirming it every day, and then consistently move in the direction of your vision until it becomes your reality. There is nothing to fear, because you cannot fail—only learn, grow, and become better than you’ve ever been before.   Always remember that where you are is a result of who you were, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be, from this moment on.
Hal Elrod (The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life: Before 8AM)
of the problem was that Chaos got a little creation-happy. It thought to its misty, gloomy self: Hey, Earth and Sky. That was fun! I wonder what else I can make. Soon it created all sorts of other problems—and by that I mean gods. Water collected out of the mist of Chaos, pooled in the deepest parts of the earth, and formed the first seas, which naturally developed a consciousness—the god Pontus. Then Chaos really went nuts and thought: I know! How about a dome like the sky, but at the bottom of the earth! That would be awesome! So another dome came into being beneath the earth, but it was dark and murky and generally not very nice, since it was always hidden from the light of the sky. This was Tartarus, the Pit of Evil; and as you can guess from the name, when he developed a godly personality, he didn't win any popularity contests. The problem was, both Pontus and Tartarus liked Gaea, which put some pressure on her relationship with Ouranos. A bunch of other primordial gods popped up, but if I tried to name them all we’d be here for weeks. Chaos and Tartarus had a kid together (don’t ask how; I don’t know) called Nyx, who was the embodiment of night. Then Nyx, somehow all by herself, had a daughter named Hemera, who was Day. Those two never got along because they were as different as…well, you know. According to some stories, Chaos also created Eros, the god of procreation... in other words, mommy gods and daddy gods having lots of little baby gods. Other stories claim Eros was the son of Aphrodite. We’ll get to her later. I don’t know which version is true, but I do know Gaea and Ouranos started having kids—with very mixed results. First, they had a batch of twelve—six girls and six boys called the Titans. These kids looked human, but they were much taller and more powerful. You’d figure twelve kids would be enough for anybody, right? I mean, with a family that big, you’ve basically got your own reality TV show. Plus, once the Titans were born, things started to go sour with Ouranos and Gaea’s marriage. Ouranos spent a lot more time hanging out in the sky. He didn't visit. He didn't help with the kids. Gaea got resentful. The two of them started fighting. As the kids grew older, Ouranos would yell at them and basically act like a horrible dad. A few times, Gaea and Ouranos tried to patch things up. Gaea decided maybe if they had another set of kids, it would bring them closer…. I know, right? Bad idea. She gave birth to triplets. The problem: these new kids defined the word UGLY. They were as big and strong as Titans, except hulking and brutish and in desperate need of a body wax. Worst of all, each kid had a single eye in the middle of his forehead. Talk about a face only a mother could love. Well, Gaea loved these guys. She named them the Elder Cyclopes, and eventually they would spawn a whole race of other, lesser Cyclopes. But that was much later. When Ouranos saw the Cyclops triplets, he freaked. “These cannot be my kids! They don’t even look like me!” “They are your children, you deadbeat!” Gaea screamed back. “Don’t you dare leave me to raise them on my own!
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Gods)
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)