When You Are Stuck Quotes

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There comes a day when you realise turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realise there's so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.
Zayn Malik
To love someone is like moving into a house," Sonja used to say. "At first you fall in love in everything new, you wonder every morning that this is one's own, as if they are afraid that someone will suddenly come tumbling through the door and say that there has been a serious mistake and that it simply was not meant to would live so fine. But as the years go by, the facade worn, the wood cracks here and there, and you start to love this house not so much for all the ways it is perfect in that for all the ways it is not. You become familiar with all its nooks and crannies. How to avoid that the key gets stuck in the lock if it is cold outside. Which floorboards have some give when you step on them, and exactly how to open the doors for them not to creak. That's it, all the little secrets that make it your home.
Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove)
Live today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Just today. Inhabit your moments. Don’t rent them out to tomorrow. Do you know what you’re doing when you spend a moment wondering how things are going to turn out with Perry? You’re cheating yourself out of today. Today is calling to you, trying to get your attention, but you’re stuck on tomorrow, and today trickles away like water down a drain. You wake up the next morning and that today you wasted is gone forever. It’s now yesterday. Some of those moments may have had wonderful things in store for you , but now you’ll never know.
Jerry Spinelli (Love, Stargirl (Stargirl, #2))
When you don't fit in, you become superhuman. You can feel everyone else's eyes on you, stuck like Velcro. You can hear a whisper about you from a mile away. You can disappear, even when it looks like you're still standing right there. You can scream, and nobody hears a sound. You become the mutant who fell into the vat of acid, the Joker who can't remove his mask, the bionic man who's missing all his limbs and none of his heart. You are the thing that used to be normal, but that was so long ago, you can't even remember what it was like.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.
George Carlin
Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.
Joseph Campbell
when you have something to do life will not allow you to move foward until you do it.
Iyanla Vanzant (Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through)
I don't know. I just feel stuck, like I'm afraid to take any steps, in case they're the wrong ones.
Rebecca Stead (When You Reach Me)
I really wondered why people were always doing what they didn't like doing. It seemed like life was a sort of narrowing tunnel. Right when you were born, the tunnel was huge. You could be anything. Then, like, the absolute second after you were born, the tunnel narrowed down to about half that size. You were a boy, and already it was certain you wouldn't be a mother and it was likely you wouldn't become a manicurist or a kindergarten teacher. Then you started to grow up and everything you did closed the tunnel in some more. You broke your arm climbing a tree and you ruled out being a baseball pitcher. You failed every math test you ever took and you canceled any hope of being a scientist. Like that. On and on through the years until you were stuck. You'd become a baker or a librarian or a bartender. Or an accountant. And there you were. I figured that on the day you died, the tunnel would be so narrow, you'd have squeezed yourself in with so many choices, that you just got squashed.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
But one thing that I was learning about what happened when you stuck around—it usually seemed that other people were willing to stick by you as well.
Morgan Matson (Second Chance Summer)
There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, becasuse you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.
Zayn Malik
When stuck in the river, it is best to dive and swim to the bank yourself before someone drops a large stone on your chest in an attempt to hoosh you there.
A.A. Milne
I think when you are truly stuck, when you have stood still in the same spot for too long, you throw a grenade in exactly the spot you were standing in, and jump, and pray. It is the momentum of last resort.
Renata Adler (Speedboat)
One of the risks of being quiet is that the other people can fill your silence with their own interpretation: You’re bored. You’re depressed. You’re shy. You’re stuck up. You’re judgemental. When others can’t read us, they write their own story—not always one we choose or that’s true to who we are.
Sophia Dembling (The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World)
Is there anything else you need from me?" Ranger asked. "Not right now." "There will come a time," Ranger said. "Let me know when." And he disconnected. I opened the freezer and stuck my head in to cool off. If there'd been any more innuendo in that conversation, I could have fried an egg on my forehead.
Janet Evanovich
When we were five, they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. Our answers were thing like astronaut, president, or in my case… princess. When we were ten, they asked again and we answered - rock star, cowboy, or in my case, gold medalist. But now that we've grown up, they want a serious answer. Well, how 'bout this: who the hell knows?! This isn't the time to make hard and fast decisions, its time to make mistakes. Take the wrong train and get stuck somewhere chill. Fall in love - a lot. Major in philosophy 'cause there's no way to make a career out of that. Change your mind. Then change it again, because nothing is permanent. So make as many mistakes as you can. That way, someday, when they ask again what we want to be… we won't have to guess. We'll know. [from the movie]
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
When you wake up with a song stuck in your head, it means an angel sang you to sleep.
Denise Baer
That's the thing that always stuck out to me - the idea that quantity becomes quality. I always took it to mean if you do anything enough, if you keep putting effort in, eventually something will happen, with or without you. You don't have to have faith when you start out, you just have to dedicate yourself to practice as if you have it.
Lauren Graham (Someday, Someday, Maybe)
There are some dreams that get stuck between your teeth when you sleep, so that when you open your mouth to yawn awake they fly right out of you.
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
That’s how you know someone loves you. When they want you to be happy even in the part of your life they’ll never see. But right then I was too stuck in the moment, in the visceral pleasure of it all.
Leah Raeder (Unteachable)
Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be. Disappointment’ s cousin is Frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.
Chetan Bhagat
That's what life is, pretty much: full of holes and tangles and ways to get stuck. Uncomfortable and itchy. A present you never asked for, never wanted, never chose. A present you're supposed to be excited to wear, day after day, even when you'd rather stay in bed and do nothing.
Lauren Oliver (Vanishing Girls)
But when someone’s gone and you’re the primary keeper of his memory—letting go would be a kind of murder, wouldn’t it? I had so much love for him, even if it was a complicated love, and where is all that love supposed to go? He was gone, so it couldn’t change, it couldn’t turn to indifference. I was stuck with all that love.
Rebecca Makkai (The Great Believers)
Needy people are like newborns, I have come to realize. One intoxicated night and BAM! You are stuck with this problem. You finally take it home and it wants to keep you up all night and cries when it isn’t sucking on various parts of your anatomy. It wants you there for everything – rocking, feeding, burping, changing... It’s ridiculous. If I wanted a kid I would have one. Until then, grow the hell up and stand on your own two feet, you little crazy.
Chase Brooks
Being stuck on love was a real bitch to cure. Like cancer, I think. Just when you think you’re over it, it comes back.
Tarryn Fisher (Mud Vein)
The only constant you have from Point A, your birth to Point B, your death is you. There is no point in changing who you are to appease others when they're gonna leave your life. LOVE YOURSELF because you're the only one who's stuck with yourself. Fall in love with who you are and if anybody wants to join in on that. More Power to them.
Tyler Oakley
Pretty fucking tragic twist of fate, but you don’t seem to remember that we first met years ago. An issue, since I remember a little too well. I like no one, absolutely no one, but I liked you from the start. I liked you when I didn’t know you, and now that I do know you it’s only gotten worse. Sometimes, often, always, I think about you before falling asleep. Then I dream of you, and when I wake up my head’s still there, stuck on something funny, beautiful, filthy, intelligent that’s all about you. It’s been going on for a while, longer than you think, longer than you can imagine, and I should have told you, but I have this impression, this certainty that you’re half a second from running away, that I should give you enough reasons to stay. Is there anything I can do for you? I’ll take you grocery shopping and fill your fridge when we’re back home. Buy you a new bike and a case of decent reagent and that sludge you drink. Kill the people who made you cry. Is there something you need? Name it. It’s yours. If I have it, it’s yours.
Ali Hazelwood (The Love Hypothesis)
You have four guns." "Someone must have stuck them on when I wasn't looking.
Brandon Sanderson (Skyward (Skyward, #1))
When you share your misery, it will not diminish. When you fail to share your joy, it diminishes. Share your problems only with the Divine, not with anyone else, as that will only increase the problems. Share your joy with everyone. Listen to others; yet do not listen. If your mind gets stuck in their problems, not only are they miserable, but you also become miserable.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Celebrating Silence: Excerpts from Five Years of Weekly Knowledge 1995-2000)
I believe in fiction and the power of stories because that way we speak in tongues. We are not silenced. All of us, when in deep trauma, find we hesitate, we stammer; there are long pauses in our speech. The thing is stuck. We get our language back through the language of others. We can turn to the poem. We can open the book. Somebody has been there for us and deep-dived the words.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
The minute I was bored with a book or a subject I moved to another one, instead of giving up on reading altogether - when you are limited to the school material and you get bored, you have a tendency to give up and do nothing or play hooky out of discouragement. The trick is to be bored with a specific book, rather than with the act of reading. So the number of the pages absorbed could grow faster than otherwise. And you find gold, so to speak, effortlessly, just as in rational but undirected trial-and-error-based research. It is exactly like options, trial and error, not getting stuck, bifurcating when necessary but keeping a sense of broad freedom and opportunism. Trial and error is freedom.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder)
If we stay where we are, where we're stuck, where we're comfortable and safe, we die there. We become like mushrooms, living in the dark, with poop up to our chins. If you want to know only what you already know, you're dying. You're saying: Leave me alone; I don't mind this little rathole. It's warm and dry. Really, it's fine. When nothing new can get in, that's death. When oxygen can't find a way in, you die. But new is scary, and new can be disappointing, and confusing - we had this all figured out, and now we don't. New is life.
Anne Lamott (Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers)
It's hard to be stuck with people that you love, when nobody trusts
Avril Lavigne
When you become stagnant and aren’t improving by the day, you are only moving toward your failure.
Pooja Agnihotri (17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure)
What are you doing following me around the back streets of London, you little idiot?” Will demanded, giving her arm a light shake. Cecily’s eyes narrowed. “This morning it was cariad (note: Welsh endearment, like ‘darling’ or ‘love’), now it’s idiot.” “Oh, you’re using a Glamour rune. There’s one thing to declare, you are not afraid of anything when you live in the country. But this is London.” “I’m not afraid of London,” Cecily said defiantly. Will leaned closer, almost hissing in her ear *and said something very complicated in Welsh* She laughed. “No, it wouldn’t do you any good to tell me to go home. You are my brother, and I want to go with you.” Will blinked at her words. You are my brother, and I want to go with you. It was the sort of thing he was used to hearing Jem say. Although Cecily was unlike Jem in every other conceivable possible way, she did share one quality with him. Stubbornness. When Cecily said she wanted something, it did not express an idle desire, but an iron determination. “Do you even care where I’m going?” he said. “What if I were going to hell?” “I’ve always wanted to see hell,” Cecily said. “Doesn’t everyone?” “Most of us spend our time trying to stay out of it, Cecily. I’m going to an ifrit den, if you must know, to purchase drugs from vile, dissolute criminals. They may clap eyes on you, and decide to sell you.” “Wouldn’t you stop them?” “I suppose it would depend on whether they cut me a part of the profit.” She shook her head. “Jem is your parabatai,” she said. “He is your brother, given to you by the Clave, but I am your sister by blood. Why would you do anything for him, but you only want me to go home?” “How do you know the drugs are for Jem?” Will said. “I’m not an idiot, Will.” “No, more’s the pity. Jem- Jem is like the better part of me. I would not expect you to understand. I owe him. I owe him this.” “So what am I?” Cecily said. Will exhaled, too desperate to check himself. “You are my weakness.” “And Tessa is your heart,” she said, not angrily, but thoughtfully. “I am not fooled. As I told you, I’m not an idiot. And more’s the pity for you, although I suppose we all want things we can’t have.” “Oh,” said Will, “and what do you want?” “I want you to come home.” A strand of black hair was stuck to her cheek by the dampness, and Will fought the urge to pull her cloak closer about her, to make her safe as he had when she was a child. “The Institute is my home,” Will sighed, and leaned his head against the stone wall. “I can’t stand out her arguing with you all evening, Cecily. If you’re determined to follow me into hell, I can’t stop you.” “Finally,” she said provingly. “You’ve seen sense. I knew you would, you’re related to me.” Will fought the urge to shake her. “Are you ready?” She nodded, and he raised his hand to knock on the door.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
I can handle it. But it stinks, if you ask me, really stinks, that you get to go out somewhere drinking beer while I'm stuck at Baby Central. Just because you have a penis." "We'll think fondly of you over beer, me and my penis." She ate a little more, then smiled slowly. "You've still got to be in the birthing room when she pushes it out." "Shut up, Eve." "Your penis won't save you then, Pal.
J.D. Robb (Born in Death (In Death, #23))
You’re the best boyfriend ever. You let me ride in elevators and everything.” “Laugh it up, Pet. It’ll be hilarious when we get stuck and the smell of unclean tourist is invading your nostrils.” “Don’t worry, Sexy. I’ll protect you.
C.J. Roberts (Epilogue (The Dark Duet, #3))
Annabelle’s eyes stung as she stared at him, while need and inexhaustible tenderness gathered like an ache in her body. “I realized something,” she said huskily, “when I was standing outside the foundry, watching it burn and knowing you were inside.” She swallowed hard against the thickness in her throat. “I would rather have died in your arms, Simon, than face a lifetime without you. All those endless years… all those winters, summers… a hundred seasons of wanting you and never having you. Growing old, while you stayed eternally young in my memories.” She bit her lip and shook her head, while her eyes flooded. “I was wrong when I told you that I didn’t know where I belonged. I do. With you, Simon. Nothing matters except being with you. You’re stuck with me forever, and I’ll never listen when you tell me to go.” She managed a tremulous smile. “So you may as well stop complaining and resign yourself to it.
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
The word "yoga" literally means "uniting", because when you're doing it you are uniting your mind and your body. You can tell this almost immediately because your mind will be thinking, "Ouch, that hurts," and your body will say, "I know." And your mind will think, "You have to get out of this position." And your body will say, "I agree with you, but I can't right now. I think I'm stuck.
Ellen DeGeneres (Seriously... I'm Kidding)
When you are feeling sad and lonely because you are single, remember that there are a lot of people stuck in bad relationships who wish they could be in your shoes.
Pamela Cummins (Psychic Wisdom on Love and Relationships)
Derek and I went out for our walk after dinner. Alone. There was an open field behind the motel and we headed there. Finally, when we were far enough from the motel, Derek led me into a little patch of woods. He hesitated then, unsure, still just holding my hand. When I stepped in front of him, though, his free hand went around my waist. "So," I said. "Seems you're going to be stuck with me for a while." He smiled. A real smile that lit up his whole face. "Good," he said. He pulled me against him. Then he bent down, breath warming my lips. My pulse was racing so fast I could barely breathe. I was sure he'd stop again and I tensed, waiting for that hesitation, stomach twisting. His lips touched mine, and still I kept waiting for him to pull back. His lips pressed against mine, then parted. And he kissed me. Really kissed me- arms tightening around me, mouth moving against mine, firm, like he'd made up his mind that this was what he wanted and he wasn't backing down again. I slid my arms around his neck. His tightened around me and he scooped me up, lifting me off his feet, kissing me like he was never going to stop, and I kissed him back the same way, like I didn't want him to ever stop. It was a perfect moment, one where nothing else mattered. All I could feel was him. All I could taste was his kiss. All I could hear was the pounding of his heart. All I could think about was him, and how much I wanted this, and how incredibly lucky I was to get it, and how tight I was going to hold onto it. This was what I wanted. This guy. This life. This me. I was never getting my old life back, and I didn't care. I was happy. I was safe. I was right where I wanted to be.
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
Liam cleared his throat again and turned to fully face me. “So, it’s the summer and you’re in Salem, suffering through another boring, hot July, and working part-time at an ice cream parlor. Naturally, you’re completely oblivious to the fact that all of the boys from your high school who visit daily are more interested in you than the thirty-one flavors. You’re focused on school and all your dozens of clubs, because you want to go to a good college and save the world. And just when you think you’re going to die if you have to take another practice SAT, your dad asks if you want to go visit your grandmother in Virginia Beach.” “Yeah?” I leaned my forehead against his chest. “What about you?” “Me?” Liam said, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear. “I’m in Wilmington, suffering through another boring, hot summer, working one last time in Harry’s repair shop before going off to some fancy university—where, I might add, my roommate will be a stuck-up-know-it-all-with-a-heart-of-gold named Charles Carrington Meriwether IV—but he’s not part of this story, not yet.” His fingers curled around my hip, and I could feel him trembling, even as his voice was steady. “To celebrate, Mom decides to take us up to Virginia Beach for a week. We’re only there for a day when I start catching glimpses of this girl with dark hair walking around town, her nose stuck in a book, earbuds in and blasting music. But no matter how hard I try, I never get to talk to her. “Then, as our friend Fate would have it, on our very last day at the beach I spot her. You. I’m in the middle of playing a volleyball game with Harry, but it feels like everyone else disappears. You’re walking toward me, big sunglasses on, wearing this light green dress, and I somehow know that it matches your eyes. And then, because, let’s face it, I’m basically an Olympic god when it comes to sports, I manage to volley the ball right into your face.” “Ouch,” I said with a light laugh. “Sounds painful.” “Well, you can probably guess how I’d react to that situation. I offer to carry you to the lifeguard station, but you look like you want to murder me at just the suggestion. Eventually, thanks to my sparkling charm and wit—and because I’m so pathetic you take pity on me—you let me buy you ice cream. And then you start telling me how you work in an ice cream shop in Salem, and how frustrated you feel that you still have two years before college. And somehow, somehow, I get your e-mail or screen name or maybe, if I’m really lucky, your phone number. Then we talk. I go to college and you go back to Salem, but we talk all the time, about everything, and sometimes we do that stupid thing where we run out of things to say and just stop talking and listen to one another breathing until one of us falls asleep—” “—and Chubs makes fun of you for it,” I added. “Oh, ruthlessly,” he agreed. “And your dad hates me because he thinks I’m corrupting his beautiful, sweet daughter, but still lets me visit from time to time. That’s when you tell me about tutoring a girl named Suzume, who lives a few cities away—” “—but who’s the coolest little girl on the planet,” I manage to squeeze out.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
The thing is, you don't get many choices when you're stuck in a secret. The world gets so small, you learn to be grateful for whatever you can get.
Amy Reed (Clean)
Almost every place has a moment of the day, an angle and intensity of light, in which it looks its best. When you're stuck someplace, you learn that time and you look forward to it.
Thomas Harris (The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter, #2))
But, you see, that's the luxury of being a lout - you get to be selective about when you care and when you don't. The rest of us get stuck when your care goes shallow.
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
You wouldn't think the touch of someone's hand could blow your mind. It's nothing, right? People don't right songs and poems about holding hands - they write them about kisses and sex and eternal love. I mean, when you're a little kid you hold hands with your parents to cross the street. Who's going to write an ode to that? We were alone in the dark, even though the enormous theater was filled with probably a thousand people. We were a tiny island in a sea of other people who didn't matter, who had no meaning, who were so stupid, so oblivious, so stuck in their own boring lives that they didn't even notice the huge, momentous, life-shattering event that was taking place right there in row L, between seats 102 and 104. Derek Edwards was holding my hand.
Claire LaZebnik (Epic Fail)
Imagine you're trying to find someone, or even you're trying to find yourself, but you have no senses, no way to know where the walls are which way is forward or backward, what is water and what is air. You're senseless and shapeless—you feel like you can only describe what you are by identifying what you're not, and you're floating around in a body with no control. You don't get to decide who you like or where you live or when you eat or what you fear. You're just stuck in there, totally alone, in this darkness. That's scary.
John Green (Turtles All the Way Down)
You missed the point completely! You're acting..." The word stuck in my throat. He didn't hesitate to say it. "Jealous?" When I nodded, he continued. "Now you're missing the point. It isn't jealousy. It's fear." "Fear?" Not the emotion I expected. "Yes. Fear. I'm afraid you'll be hurt or killed. I'm afraid I won't be able to protect you. I'm afraid I'll lose you to another man.
Maria V. Snyder (Storm Glass (Glass, #1))
I tilt my head and ask “What firsts have we already passed?” “The easy ones,” he says. “First hug, first date, first fight, first time we slept together, although I wasn’t the one sleeping. Now we barely have any left. First kiss. First time to sleep together when we’re both actually awake. First marriage. First kid. We’re done after that. Our lives will become mundane and boring and I’ll have to divorce you and marry a wife who’s twenty years younger than me so I can have a lot more firsts and you’ll be stuck raising the kids.” He bring his hand to my cheek and smile at me. “So you see, babe? I’m only doing this for your benefit. The longer I wait to kiss you, the longer it’ll be before I’m forced to leave you high and dry.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
You want me to have feelings?" he said. "I already told you that I love you. What else should I say? That I long to be near you every second of every day? I see colors, only around you....I smell perfume, only around you. God, it's like...like I'm alive again. Sometimes I go crazy just wondering if I imagined it all, and I wait to see when it...you...will be taken away from me." "I feel all these things, Abbey," he continued on. "Rage that I can't run my fingers through your hair. Sorrow that I can't lay my face next to yours. Agony that I can't steal the breath from your lips. I can't eat or breathe or sleep for wanting to touch you, and yet I don't eat or breathe or sleep. I'm just here. Stuck in between.
Jessica Verday (The Haunted (The Hollow, #2))
When stuck in outer space, moonwalk home. I can dance as well as any hitchhiker in the galaxy, and you can 42 off if you don’t believe me.
Jarod Kintz (Write like no one is reading 3)
Ursus stepped forward. 'Watch your tongue when you speak to the goddess!' he snarled. The Doctor frowned. 'I think that would make speaking rather difficult,' he said.He stuck his tongue out and crossed his eyes to look down on it. 'Therterly inghockigal.' he said.
Jacqueline Rayner (Doctor Who: The Stone Rose)
I figure when you come to a crossroads, you have a choice: right turn, left turn, straight ahead. Or you can just pull over to the side of the road and call it quits. But if you've got a good stretch of road up ahead and someone fun to travel it with, why stay stuck in the galdern ditch?
Chris Grabenstein
We were in such good moods, we even decided to hit Todd's house for candy. Sam rang the doorbell, and when it opened, this hideous, rubber monster face roared at us. Sam screamed. Todd started laughing and took off the mask. I yelled, "Put it back on! Put it back on! Your hideousness is terrifying!" Todd did a fake yuk-yuk-yuk at my joke. "What are you guys supposed to be? Is it Prom Night Massacre or something?" Sam sighed at Todd's obvious stupidity. "We're zombie princesses, Todd. Can't you tell?" She stuck her arms straight out in front of her and said, "BRAINS! BRAINS!" I patted Sam on the head and said, "Sorry, Sam. You're wasting your time with this one.
Kristin Walker (A Match Made in High School)
The ego is as you think of yourself. You in relation to all the commitments of your life, as you understand them. The self is the whole range of possibilities that you've never even thought of. And you're stuck with you're past when you're stuck with the ego. Because if all you know about yourself is what you found out about yourself, well, that already happened. The self is a whole field of potentialities to come through.
Joseph Campbell (The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life & Work (Works))
Regret keeps you stuck on pause. So does prison. When you get out of here, make sure you hit play so you don’t forget to move forward.
Colleen Hoover (Reminders of Him)
It's all very well going round with two fingers stuck up at the world, but what happens when the world turns round and sticks them back up at you? The world's a lot bigger than I am.
Liz Kessler (Read Me Like a Book)
There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief - WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care? People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us. For values or guiding principles to be truly effective they have to be verbs. It’s not “integrity,” it’s “always do the right thing.” It’s not “innovation,” it’s “look at the problem from a different angle.” Articulating our values as verbs gives us a clear idea - we have a clear idea of how to act in any situation. Happy employees ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders—in that order. Leading is not the same as being the leader. Being the leader means you hold the highest rank, either by earning it, good fortune or navigating internal politics. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you—not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to. You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills. Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. People are either motivated or they are not. Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward, they will motivate themselves to find a new job and you’ll be stuck with whoever’s left. Trust is maintained when values and beliefs are actively managed. If companies do not actively work to keep clarity, discipline and consistency in balance, then trust starts to break down. All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.
Simon Sinek (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action)
We walk for about an hour before Raffe whispers, “Does moping actually help humans feel better?” “I’m not moping,” I whisper back. “Of course you’re not. A girl like you, spending time with a warrior demigod like me. What’s to mope about? Leaving a wheelchair behind couldn’t possibly show up on the radar compared to that.” I nearly stumble over a fallen branch. “You have got to be kidding me.” “I never kid about my warrior demigod status.” “Oh. My. God.” I lower my voice, having forgotten to whisper. “You are nothing but a bird with an attitude. Okay, so you have a few muscles, I’ll grant you that. But you know, a bird is nothing but a barely evolved lizard. That’s what you are.” He chuckles. “Evolution.” He leans over as if telling me a secret. “I’ll have you know that I’ve been this perfect since the beginning of time.” He is so close that his breath caresses my ear. “Oh, please. Your giant head is getting too big for this forest. Pretty soon, you’re going to get stuck trying to walk between two trees. And then, I’ll have to rescue you.” I give him a weary look. “Again.” I pick up my pace, trying to discourage the smart comeback that I’m sure will come. But it doesn’t. Could he be letting me have the last say? When I look back, Raffe has a smug grin on his face. That’s when I realize I’ve been manipulated into feeling better. I stubbornly try to resist but it’s already too late.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
I love you.' 'I'm a little stuck for words here,' she said. 'I'm just trying to get my head around it, trying to find the right way for... Okay, yeah, I have it now. Caelan, cop on to yourself.' 'But I love you.' 'Here we go.' 'When will you admit that you are in love with me too?' 'I swear, talking to you is like talking to a really good looking and mildly stupid brick wall. Look, I like you okay? I think you're cute. You could probably ease up on the brooding self-loathing, though. That stopped being attractive a while ago. But, I mean, on the whole, I like you, and you like me-' 'I love you.' 'Yeah, well...
Derek Landy (Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6))
Love never fails, Mila. That's what your parents believed. And because of you, it's what I believe now, too. You stuck by me and loved me when I didn't deserve it. All I want is a chance to prove that I can be worthy of it. Your parents were sort of fucked up in their own way, like me, and they never got the help that they needed. But I will. I promise. I will put the work in. I will learn how to cope with painful things and I will never leave you again. Just tell me that you'll stay with me.
Courtney Cole (If You Stay (Beautifully Broken, #1))
Say something Becks. Say anything" "You," I said. "I remember you." I kept my eyes shut, and felt his hands drop. He didn't move back. "What do you remember about me?" There was strong emotion behind his voice. Something he fought to control. With my eyes closed, I could easily picture the other side of the century. "I remember the way your hand could cover my entire shoulder. The way your lower lip stuck out when you were working out a problem in your head. And how you flick your ring finger with your thumb when you get impatient." I opened my eyes, and the words no longer got stuck in my throat on their way out. They flowed. "And when something surprises you and you don't know what to say, you get a tiny wrinkle in between your eyebrows." I reached up to touch the divot, then hesitated and lowered my hand. "It showed on the day the coach told you you'd made first-string quarterback. And it's showing now." For a moment the space between us held no tension, no questions, no accusations. Finally he leaned back, a stunned expression on his face. "Where do we go from here?" "Nowhere, really," I whispered. "It doesn't change anything.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
Yes, go on. Leave. You're always coming and going. The rest of us are stuck here. Do you think he'd still love you if he knew who you are? He doesn't really care—only when it suits him.
Libba Bray (Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle, #2))
Do not think that enlightenment is going to make you special, it’s not. If you feel special in any way, then enlightenment has not occurred. I meet a lot of people who think they are enlightened and awake simply because they have had a very moving spiritual experience. They wear their enlightenment on their sleeve like a badge of honor. They sit among friends and talk about how awake they are while sipping coffee at a cafe. The funny thing about enlightenment is that when it is authentic, there is no one to claim it. Enlightenment is very ordinary; it is nothing special. Rather than making you more special, it is going to make you less special. It plants you right in the center of a wonderful humility and innocence. Everyone else may or may not call you enlightened, but when you are enlightened the whole notion of enlightenment and someone who is enlightened is a big joke. I use the word enlightenment all the time; not to point you toward it but to point you beyond it. Do not get stuck in enlightenment.
Adyashanti
According to Maslow, I was stuck on the second level of the pyramid, unable to feel secure in my health and therefore unable to reach for love and respect and art and whatever else, which is, utter horseshit: The urge to make art or contemplate philosophy does not go away when you are sick. Those urges just become transfigured by illness. Maslow's pyramid seemed to imply I was less human than other people, and most people seemed to agree with him.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
You know a school is run by stuck-up sons of bitches when it doesn't even have a bike rack.
Francesca Zappia (Made You Up)
One of us will just have to stay at the cottage to keep an eye on her.' [...] Let's see if Widow Hazel wouldn't take her in during the day, maybe teach her something useful -' No, remember when she learned how to knit? Now we're stuck wearing these dreadful hats.' Not so loud! She'll hear you.' In a lower voice one of the dwarfs said, 'H.A.T.S.' Apparently Snow White didn't know how to knit or to spell.
Janette Rallison (My Fair Godmother (My Fair Godmother, #1))
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)
My sweet little whorish Nora I did as you told me, you dirty little girl, and pulled myself off twice when I read your letter. I am delighted to see that you do like being fucked arseways. Yes, now I can remember that night when I fucked you for so long backwards. It was the dirtiest fucking I ever gave you, darling. My prick was stuck in you for hours, fucking in and out under your upturned rump. I felt your fat sweaty buttocks under my belly and saw your flushed face and mad eyes. At every fuck I gave you your shameless tongue came bursting out through your lips and if a gave you a bigger stronger fuck than usual, fat dirty farts came spluttering out of your backside. You had an arse full of farts that night, darling, and I fucked them out of you, big fat fellows, long windy ones, quick little merry cracks and a lot of tiny little naughty farties ending in a long gush from your hole. It is wonderful to fuck a farting woman when every fuck drives one out of her. I think I would know Nora’s fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women. It is a rather girlish noise not like the wet windy fart which I imagine fat wives have. It is sudden and dry and dirty like what a bold girl would let off in fun in a school dormitory at night. I hope Nora will let off no end of her farts in my face so that I may know their smell also. You say when I go back you will suck me off and you want me to lick your cunt, you little depraved blackguard. I hope you will surprise me some time when I am asleep dressed, steal over to me with a whore’s glow in your slumberous eyes, gently undo button after button in the fly of my trousers and gently take out your lover’s fat mickey, lap it up in your moist mouth and suck away at it till it gets fatter and stiffer and comes off in your mouth. Sometimes too I shall surprise you asleep, lift up your skirts and open your drawers gently, then lie down gently by you and begin to lick lazily round your bush. You will begin to stir uneasily then I will lick the lips of my darling’s cunt. You will begin to groan and grunt and sigh and fart with lust in your sleep. Then I will lick up faster and faster like a ravenous dog until your cunt is a mass of slime and your body wriggling wildly. Goodnight, my little farting Nora, my dirty little fuckbird! There is one lovely word, darling, you have underlined to make me pull myself off better. Write me more about that and yourself, sweetly, dirtier, dirtier.
James Joyce (Selected Letters of James Joyce)
When the tides change, you have two choices. You can either stand there, letting the water wash over you and your feet sink deeper into the wet sand... or you can get out of the way. You can move up the beach - or off the beach, if you want. The point is to not get stuck.
Tricia Rayburn (Undercurrent (Siren, #2))
DADDY You do not do, you do not do Any more, black shoe In which I have lived like a foot For thirty years, poor and white, Barely daring to breathe or Achoo. Daddy, I have had to kill you. You died before I had time― Marble-heavy, a bag full of God, Ghastly statue with one grey toe Big as a Frisco seal And a head in the freakish Atlantic When it pours bean green over blue In the waters of beautiful Nauset. I used to pray to recover you. Ach, du. In the German tongue, in the Polish town Scraped flat by the roller Of wars, wars, wars. But the name of the town is common. My Polack friend Says there are a dozen or two. So I never could tell where you Put your foot, your root, I never could talk to you. The tongue stuck in my jaw. It stuck in a barb wire snare. Ich, ich, ich, ich, I could hardly speak. I thought every German was you. And the language obscene An engine, an engine Chuffing me off like a Jew. A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen. I began to talk like a Jew. I think I may well be a Jew. The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna Are not very pure or true. With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack I may be a bit of a Jew. I have always been scared of you, With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo. And your neat mustache And your Aryan eye, bright blue. Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You― Not God but a swastika So black no sky could squeak through. Every woman adores a Fascist, The boot in the face, the brute Brute heart of a brute like you. You stand at the blackboard, daddy, In the picture I have of you, A cleft in your chin instead of your foot But no less a devil for that, no not And less the black man who Bit my pretty red heart in two. I was ten when they buried you. At twenty I tried to die And get back, back, back to you. I thought even the bones would do. But they pulled me out of the sack, And they stuck me together with glue. And then I knew what to do. I made a model of you, A man in black with a Meinkampf look And a love of the rack and the screw. And I said I do, I do. So daddy, I’m finally through. The black telephone’s off at the root, The voices just can’t worm through. If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two― The vampire who said he was you And drank my blood for a year, Seven years, if you want to know. Daddy, you can lie back now. There’s a stake in your fat black heart And the villagers never like you. They are dancing and stamping on you. They always knew it was you. Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
My mother used to tell me when I went somewhere, "Please leave your foolishness at home." But how could I do that? It was stuck on me.
Naomi Shihab Nye (I'll Ask You Three Times, Are You OK?: Tales of Driving and Being Driven)
You know a guy is funny when a week later you can still feel the little knives he stuck in you.
Katherine Applegate (Search for Senna (Everworld, #1))
Live today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Just today. Inhabit your moments. Don’t rent them out to tomorrow. Do you know what you’re doing when you spend a moment wondering how things are going to turn out? You’re cheating yourself out of today. Today is calling to you, trying to get your attention, but you’re stuck on tomorrow, and today trickles away like water down a drain. You wake up the next morning and that today you wasted is gone forever. It’s now yesterday. Some of those moments may have had wonderful things in store for you , but now you’ll never know.
Jerry Spinelli (Stargirl (Stargirl, #1))
I suppose it’s easier to see the way out of anything when you’ve found your way out of that maze. When you’re stuck in the middle, in a series of dead-ends making circles, it’s difficult to make any sense of anything.
Cecelia Ahern (The Book of Tomorrow)
Caught like a fly, In a web of your lies, It's truth be told now, Or it's meet your demise, So how did it feel? When you held the knife, That you stuck right in my back, A thousand times?
falling in reverse
A moment later, Helen had returned; she was walking slowly now, and carefully, her hand on the back of a thin boy with a mop of wavy brown hair. He couldn’t have been older than twelve, and Clary recognized him immediately. Helen, her hand firmly clamped around the wrist of a younger boy whose hands were covered with blue wax. He must have been playing with the tapers in the huge candelabras that decorated the sides of the nave. He looked about twelve, with an impish grin and the same wavy, bitter-chocolate hair as his sister. Jules, Helen had called him. Her little brother. The impish grin was gone now. He looked tired and dirty and frightened. Skinny wrists stuck out of the cuffs of a white mourning jacket whose sleeves were too long for him. In his arms he was carrying a little boy, probably not more than two years old, with the same wavy brown hair that he had; it seemed to be a family trait. The rest of his family wore the same borrowed mourning clothes: following Julian was a brunette girl about ten, her hand firmly clasped in the hold of a boy the same age: the boy had a sheet of tangled black hair that nearly obscured his face. Fraternal twins, Clary guessed. After them came a girl who might have been eight or nine, her face round and very pale between brown braids. The misery on their faces cut at Clary’s heart. She thought of her power with runes, wishing that she could create one that would soften the blow of loss. Mourning runes existed, but only to honor the dead, in the same way that love runes existed, like wedding rings, to symbolize the bond of love. You couldn’t make someone love you with a rune, and you couldn’t assuage grief with it, either. So much magic, Clary thought, and nothing to mend a broken heart. “Julian Blackthorn,” said Jia Penhallow, and her voice was gentle. “Step forward, please.” Julian swallowed and handed the little boy he was holding over to his sister. He stepped forward, his eyes darting around the room. He was clearly scouring the crowd for someone. His shoulders had just begun to slump when another figure darted out onto the stage. A girl, also about twelve, with a tangle of blond hair that hung down around her shoulders: she wore jeans and a t-shirt that didn’t quite fit, and her head was down, as if she couldn’t bear so many people looking at her. It was clear that she didn’t want to be there — on the stage or perhaps even in Idris — but the moment he saw her, Julian seemed to relax. The terrified look vanished from his expression as she moved to stand next to him, her face ducked down and away from the crowd. “Julian,” said Jia, in the same gentle voice, “would you do something for us? Would you take up the Mortal Sword?
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Raffe watches me as if reading my thoughts. Then he looks at the locusts. His lip curls as he assesses them, his eyes scanning from their thick legs to their insectile torsos to their iridescent wings. He looks at the curled stingers last. He shakes his head. ‘Those wings are so flimsy I wouldn’t trust them to carry you. And those overgrown nails – you’d catch an infection if they scratched you. You can ride one when they improve on the design.’ He steps forward and, in one smooth motion, lifts me into his firm embrace. ‘Until then, you’re stuck with me being your air taxi.’ He takes flight before I can argue
Susan Ee (End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3))
Remember the friends who stuck with you when they thought you had nothing.
Joyce Rachelle
One of the vital things for a writer who’s writing a book, which is a lengthy project and is going to take about a year, is how to keep the momentum going. It is the same with a young person writing an essay. They have got to write four or five or six pages. But when you are writing it for a year, you go away and you have to come back. I never come back to a blank page; I always finish about halfway through. To be confronted with a blank page is not very nice. But Hemingway, a great American writer, taught me the finest trick when you are doing a long book, which is, he simply said in his own words, “When you are going good, stop writing.” And that means that if everything’s going well and you know exactly where the end of the chapter’s going to go and you know just what the people are going to do, you don’t go on writing and writing until you come to the end of it, because when you do, then you say, well, where am I going to go next? And you get up and you walk away and you don’t want to come back because you don’t know where you want to go. But if you stop when you are going good, as Hemingway said…then you know what you are going to say next. You make yourself stop, put your pencil down and everything, and you walk away. And you can’t wait to get back because you know what you want to say next and that’s lovely and you have to try and do that. Every time, every day all the way through the year. If you stop when you are stuck, then you are in trouble!
Roald Dahl
The hardest part of letting go is the "uncertainty"--when you are afraid that the moment you let go of someone you will hate yourself when you find out how close you were to winning their affection. Every time you give yourself hope you steal away a part of your time, happiness and future. However, once in a while you wake up to this realization and you have to hold on tightly to this truth because your heart will tear away the foundation of your logic, by making excuses for why this person doesn't try as much as you. The truth is this: Real love is simple. We are the ones that make it complicated. A part of disconnecting is recognizing the difference between being desired and being valued. When someone loves you they will never keep you waiting, give their attention and affection away to others, allow you to continue hurting, or ignore what you have gone through for them. On the other hand, a person that desires you can't see your pain, only what they can get from you with minimal effort in return. They let you risk everything, while they guard their heart and reap the benefits of your feelings. We make so many excuses for the people we fall in love with and they make up even more to remain one foot in the door. However, the truth is God didn't create you to be treated as an option or to be disrespected repeatedly. He wants you to close the door. If someone loves you and wants to be in your life no obstacle will keep them from you. Remember, you are royalty, not a beggar.
Shannon L. Alder
But sometimes a person’s brain starts cycling. No matter what you do, the same thoughts just keep repeating, over and over. You get stuck in a loop, and when you’re inside that loop, you can’t see past it. You’ll keep coming up with the same possibilities, to no end, because the answers you need—they’re outside the loop. Distractions aren’t just distractions. Sometimes they can break you out of the loop.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Final Gambit (The Inheritance Games, #3))
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, When the funds are low and the debts are high, And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, When care is pressing you down a bit, Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit. Life is queer with its twists and turns, As every one of us sometimes learns, And many a failure turns about, When he might have won had he stuck it out; Don’t give up though the pace seems slow- You may succeed with another blow. Often the goal is nearer than, It seems to a faint and faltering man, Often the struggler has given up, When he might have captured the victor’s cup, And he learned too late when the night slipped down, How close he was to the golden crown. Success is failure turned inside out- The silver tint of the clouds of doubt, And you never can tell how close you are, It may be near when it seems so far, So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit- It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit
John Greenleaf Whittier (The Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier: A Reader's Edition)
He unlaced his arms and took a step forward. "You hurt?" "Not badly." She tried to smile, but her lips only curved on one side. "My main problem is that I'm stuck to a cactus." (...) "How'd you manage to get tangled up with a cactus?" J.T. crouched beside her and started extricating her from the prickly plant. "Well, believe it or not, I was on my way to apologize to you when a prairie-dog hole jumped up and grabbed my shoe heel.
Karen Witemeyer (A Tailor-Made Bride)
Body art isn’t a contest. The only person that has to like it is the person stuck with it for the rest of their life. As long as you love it when you see it, that’s all that matters.
Jay Crownover (Nash (Marked Men, #4))
She can sense things . . . Things the rest of us can't.She only knew there was a strange feel to you, and she'd only ever felt that around one other person. So she brought you to me." "Seems like she could have done that without me having to carry a household's worth of stuff." This made him laugh. "Don't take it personally. She was testing you. She wanted to see if you're a worthy match for her grandson." "What's the point? He's dead now." I nearly choked on the words. "True, but for her, it's still important. And, by the way, she does think you're worthy." "She has a funny way of showing it." [..] Paul stuck his head out the back door. "Grandmother wants to leave now," he told me. "She wants to know why you're taking so long and said to ask why you'd make someone as old as her keep waiting and suffering with her back." I recalled how fast Yeva had been walking while I struggled to keep up with my load. Her back hadn't seemed all that bad to me. "Okay. I'll be right there." When he was gone, I shook my head. "It's hard being worthy.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
Watching someone you love go through difficult times is like being trapped in your own body but paralyzed. You want to yell at them, scream, help them, but your body won't move, and you know that no matter how hard you try, in the end, the path is theirs to choose, you can't choose for them. What a terrifying concept, especially considering we hardly see every option when we're stuck in our own self-defeat.
Rachel Van Dyken (Toxic (Ruin, #2))
My boyfriend recently asked me to marry him. I said yes. He’s the sweetest, kindest man I’ve ever known. Problem is, the diamond he gave me was smaller than I hoped for. I don’t really want to hurt his feelings. I need to know a polite way to express my disappointment. –Lori, Manhattan   God has the same dilemma when it comes to you, sweetheart. P.S. When your fiancé dumps your selfish ass, give him my number.   Answering
Vi Keeland (Stuck-Up Suit)
Oh," Sally brightened proud of herself for deciphering his sign language, "you're telling me not to leave my room." Costin nodded his big wolf head again. His eyes had begun glowing back in the party and even now they continued to emit an eerie shade of green. Sally's inner Jen had been triggered as soon as she got the words out. So naturally she did what her inner Jen told her to. She stepped forward putting one toe outside her door. Costin growled, so she stepped back. Watching him coyly she put her other toe outside her door and he growled again. She was inwardly scolding herself for taunting him and allowing her inner Jen to control her actions, but she had discovered long ago that sometimes inner Jen is just more fun. When Sally stuck her foot out for the third time, she giggled when Costin snapped at her. She could tell that he was playing by the way his tail wagged and his eyes lightened, but had not stopped glowing all together.
Quinn Loftis
People fear that being trapped inside a box, they will miss out on all the wonders of the world. As long as Neo is stuck inside the matrix, and Truman is stuck inside the TV studio, they will never visit Fiji, or Paris, or Machu Picchu. But in truth, everything you will ever experience in life is within your own body and your own mind. Breaking out of the matrix or travelling to Fiji won’t make any difference. It’s not that somewhere in your mind there is an iron chest with a big red warning sign ‘Open only in Fiji!’ and when you finally travel to the South Pacific you get to open the chest, and out come all kinds of special emotions and feelings that you can have only in Fiji. And if you never visit Fiji in your life, then you missed these special feelings for ever. No. Whatever you can feel in Fiji, you can feel anywhere in the world; even inside the matrix.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Water splashed over my jeans, and I yelped as something burned my skin. We examined my leg. Tiny holes marred my jeans where the drops had hit, the material seared away, the skin underneath red and burned. It throbbed as if I’d jabbed needles into my flesh. “What the heck?” I muttered, glaring into the storm. It looked like ordinary rain—gray, misty, somewhat depressing. Almost compulsively, I stuck my hand toward the opening, where water dripped over the edge of the tube. Ash grabbed my wrist, snatching it back. “Yes, it will burn your hand as well as your leg,” he said in a bland voice. “And here I thought you learned your lesson with the chains.” Embarrassed, I dropped my hand and scooted farther into the tube, away from the rim and the acid rain dripping from it. “Guess I’m staying up all night,” I muttered, crossing my arms. “Wouldn’t want to doze off and find half my face melted off when I wake up.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
Never mistake the uncomfortable feeling of insecurity and the fear of the unknown with the Holy Ghost’s promptings. Sometimes those feelings are simply Satan keeping you stuck where you are because he knows you will have a half-life there. He knows that you will spend half of your life disconnected, discontented and convincing your mind of what its heart will never accept. He knows when you have settled, gave up and didn’t try. Inaction is his greatest weapon, while regret is his second.
Shannon L. Alder
Have you named her yet?” he asks. “She likes powerful names so maybe you could appease her by giving her a good one.” I bite my lip as I remember telling Dee-Dum what I named my sword. “Um, I could rename her anything she likes.” I give him a cheesy smile. He looks like he’s bracing himself for the worst. “She gets named once by each carrier. If you’ve named her, she’s stuck with it for as long as she’s with you.” Damn. He glares at me as if he already hates it. “What is it?” I consider lying but what’s the point? I clear my throat. “Pooky Bear.” He’s silent for so long I’m beginning to think he didn’t hear me when he finally says, “Pooky. Bear.” “It was just a little joke. I didn’t know.” “I’ve mentioned that names have power, right? Do you realize that when she fights battles, she’s going to have to announce herself to the opposing sword? She’ll be forced to say something ridiculous like, ‘I am Pooky Bear, from an ancient line of archangel swords.’ Or, ‘Bow down to me, Pooky Bear, who has only two other equals in all the worlds.’ ” He shakes his head. “How is she going to get any respect?
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
There are mornings when it feels as if you rise up to the surface through a mud bath. With your feet stuck in a block of cement. When you know that you’ve expired in the night and have nothing to be happy about except the fact that at least you’ve already died so they can’t transplant your lifeless organs.
Peter Høeg (Smilla's Sense of Snow)
You will not remember much from school. School is designed to teach you how to respond and listen to authority figures in the event of an emergency. Like if there's a bomb in a mall or a fire in an office. It can, apparently, take you more than a decade to learn this. These are not the best days of your life. They are still ahead of you. You will fall in love and have your heart broken in many different, new and interesting ways in college or university (if you go) and you will actually learn things, as at this point, people will believe you have a good chance of obeying authority and surviving, in the event of an emergency. If, in your chosen career path, there are award shows that give out more than ten awards in one night or you have to pay someone to actually take the award home to put on your mantlepiece, then those awards are more than likely designed to make young people in their 20's work very late, for free, for other people. Those people will do their best to convince you that they have value. They don't. Only the things you do have real, lasting value, not the things you get for the things you do. You will, at some point, realise that no trophy loves you as much as you love it, that it cannot pay your bills (even if it increases your salary slightly) and that it won't hold your hand tightly as you say your last words on your deathbed. Only people who love you can do that. If you make art to feel better, make sure it eventually makes you feel better. If it doesn't, stop making it. You will love someone differently, as time passes. If you always expect to feel the same kind of love you felt when you first met someone, you will always be looking for new people to love. Love doesn't fade. It just changes as it grows. It would be boring if it didn't. There is no truly "right" way of writing, painting, being or thinking, only things which have happened before. People who tell you differently are assholes, petrified of change, who should be violently ignored. No philosophy, mantra or piece of advice will hold true for every conceivable situation. "The early bird catches the worm" does not apply to minefields. Perfection only exists in poetry and movies, everyone fights occasionally and no sane person is ever completely sure of anything. Nothing is wrong with any of this. Wisdom does not come from age, wisdom comes from doing things. Be very, very careful of people who call themselves wise, artists, poets or gurus. If you eat well, exercise often and drink enough water, you have a good chance of living a long and happy life. The only time you can really be happy, is right now. There is no other moment that exists that is more important than this one. Do not sacrifice this moment in the hopes of a better one. It is easy to remember all these things when they are being said, it is much harder to remember them when you are stuck in traffic or lying in bed worrying about the next day. If you want to move people, simply tell them the truth. Today, it is rarer than it's ever been. (People will write things like this on posters (some of the words will be bigger than others) or speak them softly over music as art (pause for effect). The reason this happens is because as a society, we need to self-medicate against apathy and the slow, gradual death that can happen to anyone, should they confuse life with actually living.)
pleasefindthis
If you're looking for forever, I'll take the batteries out of my clocks. So that we'll be stuck inside this moment, as if time had really stopped. I would tell you I love you every second, except here, seconds do not exist. So I'll say I love you with each breath, with each smile, with each kiss. And when I die, you can crank your watch, restart your clocks, begin the time. And know that we were infinite in the moment that you were mine.
Ellen Everett (I Saw You As A Flower: A Poetry Collection)
Truth for anyone is a very complex thing. For a writer, what you leave out says as much as those things you include. What lies beyond the margin of the text? The photographer frames the shot; writers frame their world. Mrs Winterson objected to what I had put in, but it seemed to me that what I had left out was the story’s silent twin. There are so many things that we can’t say, because they are too painful. We hope that the things we can say will soothe the rest, or appease it in some way. Stories are compensatory. The world is unfair, unjust, unknowable, out of control. When we tell a story we exercise control, but in such a way as to leave a gap, an opening. It is a version, but never the final one. And perhaps we hope that the silences will be heard by someone else, and the story can continue, can be retold. When we write we offer the silence as much as the story. Words are the part of silence that can be spoken. Mrs Winterson would have preferred it if I had been silent. Do you remember the story of Philomel who is raped and then has her tongue ripped out by the rapist so that she can never tell? I believe in fiction and the power of stories because that way we speak in tongues. We are not silenced. All of us, when in deep trauma, find we hesitate, we stammer; there are long pauses in our speech. The thing is stuck. We get our language back through the language of others. We can turn to the poem. We can open the book. Somebody has been there for us and deep-dived the words. I needed words because unhappy families are conspiracies of silence. The one who breaks the silence is never forgiven. He or she has to learn to forgive him or herself.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
You were heading back toward me when I found you." "Toward...?" You nodded again. "So I figured the car had probably got stuck or died somehow, and you were just coming home." "Home?" "Yeah." Your mouth twitched. "Back to me.
Lucy Christopher (Stolen (Stolen, #1))
I got a head start and ws already hanging upside down when he caught up. All the blood was rushing to my head, making me feel dizzy. "I can't stay like this much longer," I told him."Head rush." He leaned down and stuck his face next to mine, gifting me with a beautiful smile."I know the feeling," he said. "You give me a head rush all the time.
Jessica Verday (The Haunted (The Hollow, #2))
It's the same thing with faith, by the way." We don't want to get stuck having to go to services all the time, or having to follow all the rules. We don't want to commit to God. We'll take Him when we need Him, or when things are going good. But real commitment? That requires staying power‎-‎-‎-in faith and in marriage." And if you don't commit? I asked. "Your choice. But you miss what's on the other side." What's on the other side? "Ah." He smiled, "A happiness you cannot find alone.
Mitch Albom (Have a Little Faith: a True Story)
Cole!" Cassandra smacked him on the shoulder. "Wha-?" When he opened his mouth all you could see was half-chewed goo. "How old are you?" I demanded. I threw shrimp at him and it got stuck in his tangle of wig hair. Bergman fished it out, wiped it off, and put it back on the serving dish. "Now, thats disgusting," said Cassandra. "Children!" Vayl's voice boomed in our ears, loud and sudden enough to make us all jump guiltily. "I trust you are all preforming actual work right now." "Chill out, Vayl," I replied. "Bergman is just conducting and experiment to see how vampires respond to ingesting brown hair dye." "That makes me curious, Vayl," said Cole in a sticky, goodie-between-the-gums voice that reminded me of Winnie the Pooh after a major honey binge. "Have you ever colored your hair? You know blonds have more fun." "Not when they are in the hospital.
Jennifer Rardin (Another One Bites the Dust (Jaz Parks, #2))
What?” I cut him off. “That’s not true—I do take this seriously—” “Bullshit.” He laughs a short, sharp, angry laugh. “All you do is sit around and think about your feelings. You’ve got problems. Boo-freaking-hoo,” he says. “Your parents hate you and it’s so hard but you have to wear gloves for the rest of your life because you kill people when you touch them. Who gives a shit?” He’s breathing hard enough for me to hear him. “As far as I can tell, you’ve got food in your mouth and clothes on your back and a place to pee in peace whenever you feel like it. Those aren’t problems. That’s called living like a king. And I’d really appreciate it if you’d grow the hell up and stop walking around like the world crapped on your only roll of toilet paper. Because it’s stupid,” he says, barely reining in his temper. “It’s stupid, and it’s ungrateful. You don’t have a clue what everyone else in the world is going through right now. You don’t have a clue, Juliette. And you don’t seem to give a damn, either.” I swallow, so hard. “Now I am trying,” he says, “to give you a chance to fix things. I keep giving you opportunities to do things differently. To see past the sad little girl you used to be—the sad little girl you keep clinging to—and stand up for yourself. Stop crying. Stop sitting in the dark counting out all your individual feelings about how sad and lonely you are. Wake up,” he says. “You’re not the only person in this world who doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. You’re not the only one with daddy issues and severely screwed-up DNA. You can be whoever the hell you want to be now. You’re not with your shitty parents anymore. You’re not in that shitty asylum, and you’re no longer stuck being Warner’s shitty little experiment. So make a choice,” he says. “Make a choice and stop wasting everyone’s time. Stop wasting your own time. Okay?
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
...and wasn't life full of layers and nuances, colored all kinds of shades of gray, and the way you felt about something when you were twenty or thirty or forty was not how you would feel about something when you were fifty or sixty or seventy---if only he could explain to her that regret can come at any time in your life, when you least expect it, and then you are stuck with it forever.
Jami Attenberg (The Middlesteins)
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
Yoga talks about cat-pose, dog-pose, camel-pose, monkey-pose, bird-pose etc. Why there are so many animal poses? Animals release their emotions and tensions by movements based on their body sensations. But our amygdala in the brain is carrying the “fight or flight response”; it has forgotten the art of releasing the tensions. As human beings, when we are aware about the sensations, we can release that by aware, slow movements. If you do not give movements to the body parts, energy will be stuck and blood circulation will be disturbed. Gradually, that creates chronic physical and mental health problems.
Amit Ray (Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Life Style)
To encapsulate the notion of Mardi Gras as nothing more than a big drunk is to take the simple and stupid way out, and I, for one, am getting tired of staying stuck on simple and stupid. Mardi Gras is not a parade. Mardi Gras is not girls flashing on French Quarter balconies. Mardi Gras is not an alcoholic binge. Mardi Gras is bars and restaurants changing out all the CD's in their jukeboxes to Professor Longhair and the Neville Brothers, and it is annual front-porch crawfish boils hours before the parades so your stomach and attitude reach a state of grace, and it is returning to the same street corner, year after year, and standing next to the same people, year after year--people whose names you may or may not even know but you've watched their kids grow up in this public tableau and when they're not there, you wonder: Where are those guys this year? It is dressing your dog in a stupid costume and cheering when the marching bands go crazy and clapping and saluting the military bands when they crisply snap to. Now that part, more than ever. It's mad piano professors converging on our city from all over the world and banging the 88's until dawn and laughing at the hairy-shouldered men in dresses too tight and stalking the Indians under Claiborne overpass and thrilling the years you find them and lamenting the years you don't and promising yourself you will next year. It's wearing frightful color combination in public and rolling your eyes at the guy in your office who--like clockwork, year after year--denies that he got the baby in the king cake and now someone else has to pony up the ten bucks for the next one. Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighborhoods, and our joy of living. All at once.
Chris Rose (1 Dead in Attic: Post-Katrina Stories)
The changes we make in life often happen when we have a degree of certainty. However, the pain of our past failures and the fears of our peers often fuel our uncertainty. This inability to predict the future is why people find themselves stuck and unable to move forward. They don't want to feel the emotions of failure. They prefer to talk themselves into settling for an "okay" life, rather than the life they really want. However, failure is a matter of perspective! Is it not failure when you don't take a chance on the one thing you need? There is no happiness in regret, staying safe or settling for anything less than what you can have through action.
Shannon L. Alder
I seem to have been cross, somehow, all the time when I was a girl. I was horrid... You're supposed to grow out of horridness, aren't you? I don't think I ever grew out of mine. Sometimes I think it's still inside me, like something nasty I swallowed that got stuck.
Sarah Waters (The Little Stranger)
Every time you try and fail, Every time your hope gets stuck in the deeps, And you wonder just how you'd get through the sail- Don't forget that underneath your pain, Is an anchor of great strength and fortitude Keep digging until you find it... And when you do, RISE!
Chinonye J. Chidolue
A big seizure just kind of grabs the inside of your skull and squeezes. It feels as if it's twisting and turning your brain all up and down and inside out. Have you ever heard a washing machine suddenly flip into that bang-bang-bang sound when it gets out of balance, or a chain saw when the chain breaks and gets caught up in the gears, or an animal like a cat, screeching in pain? Those are what seizures felt like when I was little.
Terry Trueman (Stuck in Neutral)
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)
Patience from a Buddhist perspective is not a "wait and see" attitude, but rather one of "just be there"... Patience can also be based on not expecting anything.Think of patience as an act of being open to whatever comes your way. When you begin to solidify expectations, you get frustrated because they are not met in the way you had hoped... With no set idea of how something is supposed to be, it is hard to get stuck on things not happening in the time frame you desired. Instead, you are just being there, open to the possibilities of your life.
Lodro Rinzler (The Buddha Walks into a Bar...: A Guide to Life for a New Generation)
...(S)uffering is universal. But victimhood is optional. There is a difference between victimization and victimhood. We are all likely to victimized in some way in the course of our lives. At some point we will suffer some kind of affliction or calamity or abuse, caused by circumstances or people or institutions over which we have little or no control. This is life. And this is victimization. It comes from outside. It's the neighborhood bully, the boss who rages, the spouse who hits, the lover who cheats, the discriminatory law, the accident that lands you in the hospital. In contrast, victimhood comes from the inside. No one can make you a victim but you. We become victims not because of what happens to us but when we choose to hold on to our victimization. We develop a victim's mind -- a way of thinking and being that is rigid, blaming, pessimistic, stuck in the past, unforgiving, punitive, and without healthy limits or boundaries. We become our own jailors when we choose the confines of the victim's mind.
Edith Eger (The Choice: Embrace the Possible)
Troy sighed with frustration. "Let me get this straight. We're stuck in the story of Romeo and Juliet and we can't get home without a magic charm from Shakespeare's quill, which doesn't exist in this world. However, we might be able to get home when the story ends, but if Romeo and Juliet don't meet, then we don't have a story. More important, we don't have an ending." Friar Laurence tsk tsked. He placed his speckled hand on Troy's forehead. "Bless you, my son, but a fever has muddled your mind.
Suzanne Selfors (Saving Juliet)
It's understandable why humans stopped living in space in the 2020s. How can you think of the stars when the seas are spilling over? How can you spare thought for alien ecosystems when your cities are too hot to inhabit? How can you trade fuel and metal and ideas when the lines on every map are in flux? How can anyone be expected to care about the questions of worlds above when the questions of the world you're stuck on — the most vital criteria of home and health and safety — remain unanswered?
Becky Chambers (To Be Taught, If Fortunate)
After three glasses, Cynthia flung the windows open and announced, “Zac Efron, I love you!” to the whole of Chelsea, while Lesley was crouched head down over the lavatory bowl throwing up, Maggie had made Sarah a declaration of love (“you’re sho, sho beautiful, marry me!”), and Sarah was shedding floods of tears without knowing why. It hit me worst of all. I had jumped on Cynthia’s bed and was bawling out “Breaking Free” in an endless loop. When Cynthia’s father came into the room, I’d held Cynthia’s hairbrush up to him like a microphone and called out, “Sing alone, baldie! Get those hips swinging!” Although the next day I couldn’t even being to explain why myself. After that embarrassing episode, Lesley and I had decided to give the demon drink a wide berth in future (we gave Cynthia’s father a wide berth as well for a couple of months), and we had stuck to that resolution.
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
Birthdays were wretched, delicious things when you lived in Beau Rivage. The clock stuck midnight, and presents gave way to magic. Curses bloomed. Girls bit into sharp apples instead of birthday cake, chocked on the ruby-and-white slivers, and collapsed into enchanted sleep. Unconscious beneath cobweb canopies, frozen in coffins of glass, they waited for their princes to come. Or they tricked ogres, traded their voices for love, danced until their glass slippers cracked. A prince would awaken, roused by the promise of true love, and find he had a witch to destroy. A heart to steal. To tear from the rib cage, where it was cushioned by bloody velvet, and deliver it to the queen who demanded the princess's death. Girls became victims and heroines. Boys became lovers and murderers. And sometimes... they became both.
Sarah Cross (Kill Me Softly (Beau Rivage, #1))
Time, Eddie had decided during this period, was in large part created by external events. When a lot of interesting shit was happening, time seemed to go by fast. If you got stuck with nothing but the usual boring shit, it slowed down. And when everything stopped happening, time apparently quit altogether. Just packed up and went to Coney Island. Weird but true.
Stephen King (Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5))
It is possible of course to get stuck in the “mud” of life. It’s easy enough to notice mud all over you at times. The hardest thing to practice is not allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by despair. When you’re overwhelmed by despair, all you can see is suffering everywhere you look. You feel as if the worst thing is happening to you. But we must remember that suffering is a kind of mud that we need in order to generate joy and happiness. Without suffering, there’s no happiness. So we shouldn’t discriminate against the mud. We have to learn how to embrace and cradle our own suffering and the suffering of the world, with a lot of tenderness.
Thich Nhat Hanh (No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering)
It is only through silent awareness that our physical and mental nature can change. This change is completely spontaneous. If we make an effort to change we do no more than shift our attention from one level, from one thing, to another. We remain in a vicious circle. This only transfers energy from one point to another. It still leaves us oscillating between suffering and pleasure, each leading inevitably back to the other. Only living stillness, stillness without someone trying to be still, is capable of undoing the conditioning our biologoical, emotional and psychological nature has undergone. There is no controller, no selector, no personality making choices. In choiceless living the situation is given the freedom to unfold. You do not grasp one aspect over another for there is nobody to grasp. When you understand something and live it without being stuck to the formulation, what you have understood dissolves in your openness. In this silence change takes place of its own accord, the problem is resolved and duality ends. You are left in your glory where no one has understood and nothing has been understood.
Jean Klein (I Am)
Now, I can tell you about some women writers who truly are fantastic. One is Anna Kavan. She writes stories like I approach "Land of a Thousand Dances": she's caught in a haze and then a light, a little teeny light, come through. It could be a leopard, that light, or it could be a spot of blood. It could be anything. But she hooks onto that and spirals out. And she does it within the accessible rhythms of plot, and that's really exciting. She's not hung up with being a woman, she just keeps extending herself, keeps telescoping language and plot. Another great woman writer is Iris Sarazan, who wrote The Runaway. She considered herself a mare, a wild runaway. She was a really intelligent girl stuck in all these convents with a hungry mind. I identify with her 'cause of her hunger to go beyond herself. She wound up in prison, but she escaped and wrote some great books before kicking off. Her books aren't page after page of her beating her breast about how shitty she's been treated, they're books about her exciting telescoping plans of escape. Rhythm, great wild rhythm.... The French poet, Rimbaud, predicted that the next great crop of writers would be women. He was the first guy who ever made a big women's liberation statement, saying that when women release themselves from the long servitude of men they're really gonna gush. New rhythms, new poetries, new horrors, new beauties. And I believe in that completely. (1976 Penthouse interview)
Patti Smith
The funny thing about almost-dying is that afterward everyone expects you to jump on the happy train and take time to chase butterflies through grassy fields or see rainbows in puddles of oil on the highway. It’s a miracle, they’ll say with an expectant look, as if you’ve been given a big old gift and you better not disappoint Grandma by pulling a face when you unwrap the box and find a lumpy, misshapen sweater. That’s what life is, pretty much: full of holes and tangles and ways to get stuck. Uncomfortable and itchy. A present you never asked for, never wanted, never chose. A present you’re supposed to be excited to wear, day after day, even when you’d rather stay in bed and do nothing. The truth is this: it doesn’t take any skill to almost-die, or to almost-live, either.
Lauren Oliver (Vanishing Girls)
I like no one, absolutely no one, but I liked you from the start. I liked you when I didn’t know you, and now that I do know you it’s only gotten worse. Sometimes, often, always, I think about you before falling asleep. Then I dream of you, and when I wake up my head’s still there, stuck on something funny, beautiful, filthy, intelligent that’s all about you. It’s been going on for a while, longer than you think, longer than you can imagine, and I should have told you, but I have this impression, this certainty that you’re half a second from running away, that I should give you enough reasons to stay. Is there anything I can do for you? I’ll take you grocery shopping and fill your fridge when we’re back home. Buy you a new bike and a case of decent reagent and that sludge you drink. Kill the people who made you cry. Is there something you need? Name it. It’s yours. If I have it, it’s yours.
Ali Hazelwood (The Love Hypothesis)
What firsts have we already passed? The eady ones, I say. First hug, first date, first fight, first time we slept together, although I wasn't the one sleeping. Now we barely have any keft. First kiss. First time to sleep together when we're both actually awake. First marriage. First kid. We're done after that. Our lives will become mundane and boring and I'll have to divorce you and marry a wife who's twenty years younger than me so I can have a lot more firsts and you'll be stuck raising the kids. So you see, babe? I'm only doing this for your benefit. The longer I wait to kiss you, the longer it'll be before I'm forced to leave you high and dry. Your logic terrifies me, I sort of don't find you attractive anymore.
Colleen Hoover (Losing Hope (Hopeless, #2))
The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep. They could see how love might control you, from your head to your toes, not to mention every single part of you in between. A woman could want a man so much she might vomit in the kitchen sink or cry so fiercly blood would form in the corners of her eyes. She put her hand to her throat as though someone were strangling her, but really she was choking on all that love she thought she’d needed so badly. What had she thought, that love was a toy, something easy and sweet, just to play with? Real love was dangerous, it got you from inside and held on tight, and if you didn’t let go fast enough you might be willing to do anything for it’s sake. She refused to believe in superstition, she wouldn’t; yet it was claiming her. Some fates are guaranteed, no matter who tries to intervene. After all I’ve done for you is lodged somewhere in her brain, and far worse, it’s in her heart as well. She was bad luck, ill-fated and unfortunate as the plague. She is not worth his devotion. She wishes he would evaporate into thin air. Maybe then she wouldn’t have this feeling deep inside, a feeling she can deny all she wants, but that won’t stop it from being desire. Love is worth the sum of itself and nothing more. But that’s what happens when you’re a liar, especially when you’re telling the worst of these lies to yourself. He has stumbled into love, and now he’s stuck there. He’s fairly used to not getting what he wants, and he’s dealt with it, yet he can’t help but wonder if that’s only because he didn’t want anything so badly. It’s music, it’s a sound that is absurdly beautiful in his mouth, but she won’t pay attention. She knows from the time she spent on the back stairs of the aunts’ house that most things men say are lies. Don’t listen, she tells herself. None if it’s true and none of it matters, because he’s whispering that he’s been looking for her forever. She can’t believe it. She can’t listen to anything he tells her and she certainly can’t think, because if she did she might just think she’d better stop. What good would it do her to get involved with someone like him? She’d have to feel so much, and she’s not that kind. The greatest portion of grief is the one you dish out for yourself. She preferred cats to human beings and turned down every offer from the men who fell in love with her. They told her how sticks and stones could break bones, but taunting and name-calling were only for fools. — & now here she is, all used up. Although she’d never believe it, those lines in *’s face are the most beautiful part about her. They reveal what she’s gone through and what she’s survived and who exactly she is, deep inside. She’s gotten back some of what she’s lost. Attraction, she now understands, is a state of mind. If there’s one thing * is now certain of, it’s house you can amaze yourself by the things you’re willing to do. You really don’t know? That heart-attack thing you’ve been having? It’s love, that’s what it feels like. She knows now that when you don’t lose yourself in the bargain, you find you have double the love you started with, and that’s one recipe that can’t be tampered with. Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
When I was a kid I used to drink from the tap all the time. I'd run back into the flat all hot and sweaty from playing and didn't even bother putting it in a glass, just turned the tap on and stuck my mouth underneath it. If my mom caught me doing it she used to scold me, but my dad just said that I had to be careful. 'What if a fish jumped out?' he used to say. 'You'd swallow it before you knew it was there.' Dad was always saying stuff like that and it wasn't until I was seventeen that I realised it was because he was stoned all the time.
Ben Aaronovitch (Midnight Riot (Rivers of London #1))
Delaney." "What?" She stuck her key on the lock, then paused with her hand on the doorknob. "I lied to you yesterday." She looked over her shoulder, but she couldn't see him. "When?" "When I said you could have been anyone. I would know you with my eyes closed." His deep voice carried across the darkness more intimate than a whisper when he added, "I would know you, Delaney." Then the squeak of hinges followed by the click of a dead bolt and Delaney knew he was gone.
Rachel Gibson (Truly Madly Yours (Truly, Idaho, #1))
Say something Becks. Say anything" "You," I said. "I remember you." I kept my eyes shut, and felt his hands drop. He didn't move back. "What do you remember about me?" There was strong emotion behind his voice. Something he fought to control. With my eyes closed, I could easily picture the other side of the century. "I remember the way your hand could cover my entire shoulder. The way your lower lip stuck out when you were working out a problem in your head. And how you flick your ring finger with your thumb when you get impatient." I opened my eyes, and the words no longer got stuck in my throat on their way out. They flowed. "And when something surprises you and you don't know what to say, you get a tiny wrinkle in between your eyebrows." I reached up to touch the divot, then hesitated and lowered my hand. "It showed on the day the coach told you you'd made first-string quarterback. And it's showing now." For a moment the space between us held no tension, no questions, no accusations. Finally he leaned back, a stunned expression on his face. "Where do we go from here?" "Nowhere, really," I whispered. "It doesn't change anything." Eyebrows still drawn together, he said, "We'll see." Then he turned and left. I tucked this moment away. In the dark, dank world of the Tunnels, I would call upon this memory. And there would be a flicker of candlelight. If only for a moment.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
I’m on a side of a road somewhere, stuck in the middle of a very deep hole, with no way of getting out. Never mind how I got in there, it’s not relevant to the story. I’ll invent a back-story… I was walking to get pizza and a chasm opened up in the earth and I fell in, and now I’m at the bottom of this hole, screaming for help. And along comes you. Now, maybe you just keep walking. You know, there’s a strange guy screaming from the center of the Earth. It’s perhaps best to just ignore him. But let’s say that you don’t. Let’s say that you stop. The sensible thing to do in this situation is to call down to me and say “I’m going to look for a ladder. I will be right back.” But you don’t do that. Instead you sit down at the edge of this abyss, and then you push yourself forward, and jump. And when you land at the bottom of the hole and dust yourself off, I’m like “What the hell are you doing?! Now there are two of us in this hole!” And you look at me and say, “Well yeah, but now I’m highly motivated to get you out.” This is what I love about novels, both reading them and writing them. They jump into the abyss to be with you where you are
John Green
The next day, I am almost afraid. Love? It was more like dragonflies in the sun, 100 degrees at noon, the ends of their abdomens stuck together. I close my eyes when I remember. I hardly knew myself, like something twisting and twisting out of a chrysalis, enormous, without language, all head, all shut eyes, and the humming like madness, the way they writhe away, and do not leave, back, back, away, back. Did I know you? No kiss, no tenderness—more like killing, death-grip holding to life, genitals like violent hands clasped tight barely moving, more like being closed in a great jaw and eaten, and the screaming. I groan to remember it, and when we started to die, then I refuse to remember, the way a drunkard forgets. After, you held my hands extremely hard as my body moved in shudders like the ferry when its axle is loosed past engagement, you kept me sealed exactly against you, our hairlines wet as the arc of a gateway after a cloudburst, you secured me in your arms till I slept - clasped, fragrant, buoyant, that was the morning after love.
Sharon Olds
When you came screaming onto this planet you were truly a bundle of joy, a wide-eyed creature incapable of doing anything but being in the moment. You had no idea that you had a body, let alone that you should be ashamed of it. When you looked around, everything just was. There was nothing about your world that was scary or too expensive or so last year as far as you were concerned. If something came near your mouth, you stuck it in, if it came near your hand, you grabbed it. You were simply a human... being.
Jen Sincero (You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life)
I am writing to go back to the time, at the rest stop in Virginia, when you stared, horror-struck at the taxidermy buck hung over the soda machine by the restrooms, its antlers shadowing your face. In the car, you kept shaking your head. " I don't understand why they would do that. Can't they see it's a corpse? A corpse should go away, not get stuck forever like that." I think now of that buck, how you stared into its black glass eyes and saw your reflection, your whole body, warped in that lifeless mirror. How it was not the grotesque mounting of a decapitated animal that shook you - but that the taxidermy embodied a death that won't finish, a death that keeps dying as we walk past it to relieve ourselves.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
He felt Ty's hand on his arm, rubbing comfortingly. Ty had been unusually tactile since the hospital, making up for Zane's lack of vision by touching him whenever he was able, as if he somehow knew how much it helped. Zane closed his eyes, grateful for it. He covered Ty's hand and squeezed gently. It was easy to think black thoughts when you were stuck in the dark, and Ty's touch helped him resist it.
Abigail Roux (Divide & Conquer (Cut & Run, #4))
Whenever you give up an apartment in New York and move to another city, New York turns into the worst version of itself. Someone I know once wisely said that the expression "It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there" is completely wrong where New York is concerned; the opposite is true. New York is a very livable city. But when you move away and become a vistor, the city seems to turn against you. It's much more expensive (because you need to eat all your meals out and pay for a place to sleep) and much more unfriendly. Things change in New York; things change all the time. You don't mind this when you live here; when you live here, it's part of the caffeinated romance to this city that never sleeps. But when you move away, your experience change as a betrayal. You walk up Third Avenue planning to buy a brownie at a bakery you've always been loyal to, and the bakery's gone. Your dry cleaner move to Florida; your dentist retires; the lady who made the pies on West Fourth Street vanishes; the maitre d' at P.J. Clarke's quits, and you realize you're going to have to start from scratch tipping your way into the heart of the cold, chic young woman now at the down. You've turned your back from only a moment, and suddenly everything's different. You were an insider, a native, a subway traveler, a purveyor of inside tips into the good stuff, and now you're just another frequent flyer, stuck in a taxi on Grand Central Parkway as you wing in and out of La Guardia. Meanwhile, you rad that Manhattan rents are going up, they're climbing higher, they're reached the stratosphere. It seems that the moment you left town, they put a wall around the place, and you will never manage to vault over it and get back into the city again.
Nora Ephron (I Feel Bad About My Neck, And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman)
You see, because [Norfolk is] stuck out here on the east, on this hump jutting into the sea, it's not on the way to anywhere. People going north and south, they bypass it altogether. For that reason, it's a peaceful corner of England, rather nice. But it's also something of a lost corner.' Someone claimed after the lesson that Miss Emily had said Norfolk was England's 'lost corner' because that was were all the lost property found in the country ended up. Ruth said one evening, looking out at the sunset, that 'when we lost something precious, and we'd looked and looked and still couldn't find it, then we didn't have to be completely heartbroken. We still had that last bit of comfort, thinking one day, when we were grown up, and we were free to travel the country, we could always go and find it again in Norfolk.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
You like all animals at that moment, although no doubt you will one day choose your favorites. Your own nature will triumph. We are all born with our natures. You popped out of your mother’s belly, I saw your eyes, and I knew that you were already you. And I think back over my own life and I realize that my own nature--the core me--essentially hasn’t changed over all these years. When I wake up in the morning, for those first few moments before I remember where I am or when I am, I still feel the same way I did when I woke up at the age of five. Sometimes I wonder if natures can be changed at all of if we are stuck with them as surely as a dog wants bones or as a cat chases mice.
Douglas Coupland (Life After God)
I can't wait for him to visit me again. He's just so handsome, don't you think?" she asked. I paused. "Yeah, he's cute." "Come on, America! You have to have noticed those eyes and his voice..." "Except when he laughs!" Just remembering Maxon's laugh had me grinning. It was cute but awkward. He pushed his breaths out, and then made a jagged noise when he inhaled, almost like another laugh in itself. "Yes, okay, he does have a funny laugh, but it's cute." "Sure, if you like the lovable sound of an asthma attack in your ear every time you tell a joke." Marlee lost it and doubled over in laughter. "All right, all right," she said, coming up for air. "You have to think there's something attractive about him." I opened my mouth and shut it two or three times. I was tempted to take another jab at Maxon, but I didn't want Marlee to see him in a negative light. So I thought about it. What was attractive about Maxon? "Well, when he lets his guard down, he's okay. Like when he just talks without checking his words or you catch him just looking at something like...like he's really looking for the beauty in it." Marlee smiled, and I knew she'd seen that in him, too. "And I like that he seems genuinely involved when he's there, you know? Like even though he's got a country to run and a thousand things to do, it's like he forgets it all when he's with you. He just dedicates himself to what's right in front of him. I like that. "And...well, don't tell anyone this, but his arms. I like his arms." I blushed at the end. Stupid...why hadn't I just stuck to the general good things about his personality? Luckily, Marlee was happy to pick up the conversation. "Yes! You can really feel them under those thick suits, can't you? He must be incredibly strong." Marlee gushed. "I wonder why. I mean, what's the point of him being that strong? He does deskwork. It's weird." "Maybe he likes to flex in front of the mirror," Marlee said, making a face and flexing her own tiny arms. "Ha, ha! I bet that's it. I dare you to ask him!" "No way!
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
As soon as I got into the library I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I got a whiff of the leather on all the old books, a smell that got real strong if you picked one of them up and stuck your nose real close to it when you turned the pages. Then there was the the smell of the cloth that covered the brand-new books, books that made a splitting sound when you opened them. Then I could sniff the the paper, that soft, powdery, drowsy smell that comes off the page in little puffs when you're reading something or looking at some pictures, kind of hypnotizing smell. I think it's the smell that makes so many folks fall asleep in the library. You'll see someone turn a page and you can imagine a puff of page powder coming up real slow and easy until it starts piling on a person's eyelashes, weighing their eyes down so much they stay down a little longer after each blink and finally making them so heavy that they just don't come back up at all. Then their mouths open and their heads start bouncing up and down like they're bobbing in a big tub of of water for apples and before you know it... they're out cold and their face thunks smack-dab on the book. That's the part that makes librarians the maddest. They get real upset if folks start drooling in the books
Christopher Paul Curtis (Bud, Not Buddy)
While they waited, Ronan decided to finally take up the task of teaching Adam how to drive a stick shift. For several minutes, it seemed to be going well, as the BMW had an easy clutch, Ronan was brief and to the point with his instruction, and Adam was a quick study with no ego to get in the way. From a safe vantage point beside the building, Gansey and Noah huddled and watched as Adam began to make ever quicker circles around the parking lot. Every so often their hoots were audible through the open windows of the BMW. Then—it had to happen eventually—Adam stalled the car. It was a pretty magnificent beast, as far as stalls went, with lots of noise and death spasms on the part of the car. From the passenger seat, Ronan began to swear at Adam. It was a long, involved swear, using every forbidden word possible, often in compound-word form. As Adam stared at his lap, penitent, he mused that there was something musical about Ronan when he swore, a careful and loving precision to the way he fit the words together, a black-painted poetry. It was far less hateful sounding than when he didn’t swear. Ronan finished with, “For the love of . . . Parrish, take some care, this is not your mother’s 1971 Honda Civic.” Adam lifted his head and said, “They didn’t start making the Civic until ’73.” There was a flash of fangs from the passenger seat, but before Ronan truly had time to strike, they both heard Gansey call warmly, “Jane! I thought you’d never show up. Ronan is tutoring Adam in the ways of manual transmissions.” Blue, her hair pulled every which way by the wind, stuck her head in the driver’s side window. The scent of wildflowers accompanied her presence. As Adam catalogued the scent in the mental file of things that made Blue attractive, she said brightly, “Looks like it’s going well. Is that what that smell is?” Without replying, Ronan climbed out of the car and slammed the door. Noah appeared beside Blue. He looked joyful and adoring, like a Labrador retriever. Noah had decided almost immediately that he would do anything for Blue, a fact that would’ve needled Adam if it had been anyone other than Noah. Blue permitted Noah to pet the crazy tufts of her hair, something Adam would have also liked to do, but felt would mean something far different coming from him.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
When there is no way out, there is still always a way through. So don’t turn away from the pain. Face it. Feel it fully. Feel it — don’t think about it! Express it if necessary, but don’t create a script in your mind around it. Give all your attention to the feeling, not to the person, event, or situation that seems to have caused it. Don’t let the mind use the pain to create a victim identity for yourself out of it. Feeling sorry for yourself and telling others your story will keep you stuck in suffering. Since it is impossible to get away from the feeling, the only possibility of change is to move into it; otherwise, nothing will shift. So give your complete attention to what you feel, and refrain from mentally labeling it. As you go into the feeling, be intensely alert. At first, it may seem like a dark and terrifying place, and when the urge to turn away from it comes, observe it but don’t act on it. Keep putting your attention on the pain, keep feeling the grief, the fear, the dread, the loneliness, whatever it is. Stay alert, stay present — present with your whole Being, with every cell of your body. As you do so, you are bringing a light into this darkness. This is the flame of your consciousness.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
When a patient says he feels stuck and confused, and through good intentions he struggles to become loose and clear, he only remains chronically trapped in the mire of his own stubbornness. If instead he will go with where he is, only then is there hope. If he will let himself get deeply into the experience of being stuck, only then will he reclaim that part of himself that is holding him. Only if he will give up trying to control his thinking, and let himself sink into his confusion, only then will things become clear. (64)
Sheldon B. Kopp (If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him: The Pilgrimage Of Psychotherapy Patients)
Did you hear about the middle Eastern potentate?" he asked me. "This potentate called a meeting of the wise men in the kingdom, and said, "I want you to gather all the world's knowledge together in one place so that my sons can read it and learn."The wise men went off, and after year, they came back with twenty-five volumes of knowledge. This potentate looked at it and he said, "No. It's too long. Make it shorter." So the wise men went off for another year. When they came back, they gave the potentate a piece of paper with one sentence on it. A single sentence. You know what the sentence was?" Bob looked at me. I shook my head. "The sentence was: "This too shall pass." Bob paused, let it sink in: "I heard that when I was very young and it has always stuck with me.
A.J. Jacobs
Without ever exactly putting his mind to it, he's come to believe that loss is the standard trajectory. Something new appears in the world-a baby, say, or a car or a house, or an individual shows some special talent-with luck and huge expenditures of soul and effort you might keep the project stoked for a while, but eventually, ultimately, its going down. This is a truth so brutally self-evident that he can't fathom why it's not more widely percieved, hence his contempt for the usual public shock and outrage when a particular situation goes to hell. The war is fucked? Well, duh. Nine-eleven? Slow train coming. They hate our freedoms? Yo, they hate our actual guts! Billy suspects his fellow Americans secretly know better, but something in the land is stuck on teenage drama, on extravagant theatrics of ravaged innocence and soothing mud wallows of self-justifying pity.
Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
The Fever Bird The fever bird sand out last night. I could not sleep, try as I might. My brain was split, my spirit raw. I looked into the garden, saw The shadow of the amaltas Shake slightly on the moonlit grass Unseen, the bird cried out its grief, Its lunacy, without relief: Three notes repeated closer, higher, Soaring, then sinking down like fire Only to breathe the night and soar, As crazed, as desperate, as before. I shivered in the midnight heat And smelt the sweat that soaked my sheet. And now tonight I hear again The call that skewers though my brain, The call, the brain-sick triple note-- A cone of pain stuck inits throat. I am so tired I could weep. Mad bird, for God's sake let me sleep Why do you cry like one possessed? When will you rest? When will you rest? Why wait each night till all but I Lie sleeping in the house, then cry? Why do you scream into my ear What no one else but I can hear?
Vikram Seth (A Suitable Boy (A Bridge of Leaves, #1))
The time of dangling insects arrived. White houses with caterpillars dangling from the eaves. White stones in driveways. You can walk at night down the middle of the street and hear women talking on the telephone. Warmer weather produces voices in the dark. They are talking about their adolescent sons. How big, how fast. The sons are almost frightening. The quantities they eat. The way they loom in doorways. These are the days that are full of wormy bugs. They are in the grass, stuck to the siding, hanging in the hair, hanging from the trees and eaves, stuck to the window screens. The women talk long-distance to grandparents of growing boys. They share the Trimline phone, beamish old folks in hand-knit sweaters on fixed incomes. What happens to them when the commercial ends?
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
You see it is important to understand how damaged people don’t always know how to say yes, or to choose the big thing, even when it is right in front of them. It’s a shame we carry. The shame of wanting something good. The shame of feeling something good. The shame of not believing we deserve to stand in the same room in the same way as all those we admire. Big red As on our chests. I never thought to myself growing up, be a lawyer. An astronaut. The President. A scientist. A doctor. An architect. I didn’t even think, be a writer. Aspiration gets stuck in some people. It’s difficult to think yes. Or up. When all you feel is fight or run.
Lidia Yuknavitch (The Chronology of Water)
I don't get as much fan mail as an actor or singer would, but when I get a letter 99% of the time it's pointing out something that really had an impact. Like after 'My Own Private Rodeo' all these people wrote to me and said Dale's dad inspired them to come out. And this was when it was still illegal to be gay in Texas and a few other states. Another one that really stuck with me was this girl who survived Columbine. See, "Wings of the Dope," the episode where Luanne's boyfriend comes back as an angel, aired two weeks after the shooting. About a month after that, I got a letter from a girl who was there and hid somewhere in the school when it was all going on. She said the first thing she was gonna do if she survived was tell a friend of hers she was in love with him. She never did. He ended up being one of the kids responsible for it. So you can imagine how - you know, to her, it felt wrong to grieve almost, and she bottled it up. But she saw that episode and Buckley walking away at the end and something just let her finally break down and greive and miss the guy. I remember she quoted Luanne - 'I wonder if he's guardianing some other girl,' or something along that line, because she never had the guts to tell the kid. That really gets to people at Comic Con.
Mike Judge
There are parts of a woman’s heart that are reserved for certain types of love. Experiencing the love of a father figure in an appropriate way is essential in paving the way for the love of a man to be experienced in the right way. The love of a father is vital in ensuring that a woman’s heart is kept open in this area. If this area is not kept open, it produces problems later on in a woman’s life, for that area is also reserved for the romantic love that comes in the form of a marriage relationship. This is an extremely sensitive area of the heart for a woman, and has plenty of opportunity to be easily bruised. When that does occur, she will put up a protective barrier to try and avoid any such pain occurring again. If this barrier isn’t dismantled fairly soon, a woman’s heart becomes accustomed to its protective barrier, and the heart shielded inside gradually becomes hardened. As women, we may be able to function like this for awhile. But there will come a time in your life where God will begin to peel away those hard layers surrounding your heart, and you probably won’t like that sensation. But you have to fight your natural instinct to run away. This is where many Christian women may get stuck. They view every man through the lens of what their father was to them, or what he was not. Their perception of men is shaded, and often damaged, by the very people who should have been modeling the world of adult relationships to their daughters. As a result, their judgement is often clouded, and women find themselves settling for less than what they truly deserve. Many marriages, even Christian marriages, have been damaged and even terminated because one or both partners refused to sit down and deal with their past issues.
Corallie Buchanan (Watch Out! Godly Women on the Loose)
Look it - you start out as an artist, I started out when I was nineteen, and you’re full of defenses. You have all of this stuff to prove. You have all of these shields in front of you. All your weapons are out. It’s like you’re going into battle. You can accomplish a certain amount that way. But then you get to a point where you say, “But there’s this whole other territory I’m leaving out.” And that territory becomes more important as you grow older. You begin to see that you leave out so much when you go to battle with the shield and all the rest of it. You have to start including that other side or die a horrible death as an artist with your shield stuck on the front of your face forever. You can’t grow that way. And I don’t think you can grow as a person that way, either. There just comes a point when you have to relinquish some of that and risk becoming more open to the vulnerable side, which I think is the female side. It’s much more courageous than the male side.
Sam Shepard
We've got this idea that there are only two options in grief: you're either going to be stuck in your pain, doomed to spend the rest of your life rocking in a corner in your basement wearing sackcloth, or you're going to triumph over grief, be transformed, and come back even better than you were before. Just two options. On, off. Eternally broken or completely healed. It doesn't seem to matter that nothing else in life is like that. Somehow when it comes to grief, the entire breadth of human experience goes out the window.
Megan Devine (It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand)
Might I,” quavered Mary, “might I have a bit of earth?” In her eagerness she did not realize how queer the words would sound and that they were not the ones she had meant to say. Mr. Craven looked quite startled. “Earth!” he repeated. “What do you mean?” “To plant seeds in—to make things grow—to see them come alive,” Mary faltered. He gazed at her a moment and then passed his hand quickly over his eyes. “Do you—care about gardens so much,” he said slowly. “I didn’t know about them in India,” said Mary. “I was always ill and tired and it was too hot. I sometimes made little beds in the sand and stuck flowers in them. But here it is different.” Mr. Craven got up and began to walk slowly across the room. “A bit of earth,” he said to himself, and Mary thought that somehow she must have reminded him of something. When he stopped and spoke to her his dark eyes looked almost soft and kind. “You can have as much earth as you want,” he said. “You remind me of some one else who loved the earth and things that grow. When you see a bit of earth you want,” with something like a smile, “take it, child, and make it come alive.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden)
It was Christmas night, the eve of the Boxing Day Meet. You must remember that this was in the old Merry England of Gramarye, when the rosy barons ate with their fingers, and had peacocks served before them with all their tail feathers streaming, or boars' heads with the tusks stuck in again—when there was no unemployment because there were too few people to be unemployed—when the forests rang with knights walloping each other on the helm, and the unicorns in the wintry moonlight stamped with their silver feet and snorted their noble breaths of blue upon the frozen air. Such marvels were great and comfortable ones. But in the Old England there was a greater marvel still. The weather behaved itself.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King)
What we’re trying to do is write cricket bats, so that when we throw up an idea and give it a little knock, it might … travel … ([He] picks up the script.) Now, what we’ve got here is a lump of wood of roughly the same shape trying to be a cricket bat, and if you hit a ball with it, the ball would travel about ten feet and you will drop the bat and dance about shouting ‘Ouch!’ with your hands stuck into your armpits. (indicating the cricket bat) This isn’t better because someone says it’s better, or because there’s a conspiracy by the MCC to keep cudgels out of Lords. It’s better because it’s better.
Tom Stoppard
I knew Denver was sincere when he told me that he would not want to trade places with me for even one day. His convictions became clear to me when I laid my key ring on the table between us at one of our earlier meetings for coffee. Denver smiled a bit and sidled up to a cautious question. 'I know it ain't none of my business, but does you own somethin' that each one of those keys fits?' I glanced at the keys; there were about ten of them. 'I suppose,' I replied, not really ever having thought about it. 'Are you sure you own them, or does they own you?' That wisdom stuck to my brain like duct tape. The more I thought about it, the more I became convinced we'd enjoy life a whole lot more if we owned a whole lot less.
Ron Hall (Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together)
Simon told me I should take you home and start making kits. What do you think?” Max looked down at her, love and lust glowing equally in his brilliant smile. “Max?” “What?” His tone was wary; he’d come to expect the unexpected when she used that particular tone of voice. “Will I give birth to a baby or a litter?” “Emma,” he groaned. “I mean, will we be feeding them baby formula or Kitten Chow?” “Emma!” “If they get stuck in a tree, who do we call? Does the fire department do kitten rescues anymore? This is important stuff to know, Lion-O!” “God save me.
Dana Marie Bell (The Wallflower (Halle Pumas, #1))
Here. Let me untangle your hair, at least. If we need to run, we can't have you stuck." "I don't think Bob's up for running," I said. "Then you'll take my horse." "What about you?" "I'll stay here and whittle a sword and kill the bear or, if that doesn't work, I'll just be eaten alive, happily sacrificing my life for yours." He gave me a look. "Or I'll just stay on the horse and you can sit behind me. Satan can hold two, I'm sure." "Oh, so you're a cowboy now? I wasn't aware that architects were also masters of horseflesh. You and Satan BFFs now? Practiced your stunt-riding this morning?" "My dad gave me a few lessons." "When? When you were six?" "Well, you know, Harper, maybe we should just stay here and bicker until the bear can't stand it anymore and kills us both. Would that make you happy?
Kristan Higgins (My One and Only)
WAIT, WAIT! JUST one more!” “Bliss, there are children waiting.” And they probably hated us, but I was just so glad to see her smiling that I didn’t care. “Yeah, well, they all just jumped on the bandwagon. Most of them weren’t alive when I read Harry Potter for the first time.” I turned to the Canadian family behind me and said, “I’m so sorry. This is the last one, I promise.” Then I took one more picture of Bliss pretending to push the luggage cart through the wall at the Platform 9¾ monument at King’s Cross Station. A little boy stuck his tongue out at Bliss as we left. I pulled her away before she could follow suit. “That kid better watch it. I’m totally a Slytherin.” I shook my head, smiling. “Love, I’m going to need you to pull back on the crazy a bit.” “You’re right. Realistically, I’m a Ravenclaw.
Cora Carmack (Keeping Her (Losing It, #1.5))
Keep creating new chapters in your personal book and never stop re-inventing and perfecting yourself. Try new things. Pick up new hobbies and books. Travel and explore other cultures. Never stay in the same city or state for more than five years of your life. There are many heavens on earth waiting for you to discover. Seek out people with beautiful hearts and minds, not those with just beautiful style and bodies. The first kind will forever remain beautiful to you, while the other will grow stale and ugly. Learn a new language at least twice. Change your career at least thrice, and change your location often. Like all creatures in the wild, we were designed to keep moving. When a snake sheds its old skin, it becomes a more refined creature. Never stop refining and re-defining yourself. We are all beautiful instruments of God. He created many notes in music so we would not be stuck playing the same song. Be music always. Keep changing the keys, tones, pitch, and volume of each of the songs you create along your journey and play on. Nobody will ever reach ultimate perfection in this lifetime, but trying to achieve it is a full-time job. Start now and don't stop. Make your book of life a musical. Never abandon obligations, but have fun leaving behind a colorful legacy. Never allow anybody to be the composer of your own destiny. Take control of your life, and never allow limitations implanted by society, tell you how your music is supposed to sound — or how your book is supposed to be written.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
They say no one person can do it all But you want to in your head But you can't be Shakespeare and you can't be Joyce So what is left instead You're stuck with yourself and a rage that can hurt you You have to start at the beginning again And just this moment This wonderful fire started up again When you pass through humble, when you pass through sickly When you pass through, I'm better than you all When you pass through anger and self deprecation And have the strength to acknowledge it all When the past makes you laugh and you can savor the magic That let you survive your own war You find that that fire is passion And there's a door up ahead, not a wall - "Magic And Loss" The Summation
Lou Reed
Suddenly he smiled, and the sadness was vanquished by whisky heat. “Aye, Jessica, I like you. And I’m not just stuck with you. You fit me here, woman.” He thumped his chest with his fist. Then he shook her hand from his forearm and pushed off with the cart again. Jessi watched him move down the aisle, all sleek animal muscle and dark grace. Wow. He wasn’t a man of many words, but when he used them, he certainly used the right ones. You fit me here. You are the exception to everything. Crimeny. It was how she’d always thought a relationship should be. People should fit each other: some days like sexy, strappy high-heeled shoes, other days like comfortable loafers—but always a good fit. And if you cared about someone, they should be the exception to everything; the number-one priority, the one who came before all others. He was halfway down the aisle from her now, plucking a can from the shelf—her primal hunter/gatherer procuring food by modern means, she thought, with a soft snort of amusement.
Karen Marie Moning (Spell of the Highlander (Highlander, #7))
The last clear definite function of man—muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need—this is man....For man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments. This you may say of man—when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back. This you may say and know it and know it. This you may know when the bombs plummet out of the black planes on the market place, when prisoners are stuck like pigs, when the crushed bodies drain filthily in the dust. You may know it in this way. If the step were not being taken, if the stumbling-forward ache were not alive, the bombs would not fall, the throats would not be cut. Fear the time when the bombs stop falling while the bombers live—for every bomb is proof that the spirit has not died. And fear the time when the strikes stop while the great owners live—for every little beaten strike is proof that the step is being taken. And this you can know—fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
The three of us stood there for a minute. I don’t know what Stew was thinking, and the filing cabinet wasn’t thinking anything. But I was thinking, is this the world? Is this really the place in which you’ve ended up, Snicket? It was a question that struck me, as it might strike you, when something ridiculous was going on, or something sad. I wondered if this was really where I should be, or if there was another world someplace, less ridiculous and less sad. But I never knew the answer to the question. Perhaps I had been in another world before I was born, and did not remember it, or perhaps I would see another world when I died, which I was in no hurry to do. In the meantime, I was stuck in the police station, doing something so ridiculous it felt sad, and feeling so sad it was ridiculous. The world of the police station, the world of Stain’d-by-the-Sea and all of the wrong questions I was asking, was was the only world I could see.
Lemony Snicket (When Did You See Her Last? (All the Wrong Questions, #2))
My sweetheart, my love, my love, my love—do you know what—all the happiness of the world, the riches, power and adventures, all the promises of religions, all the enchantment of nature and even human fame are not worth your two letters. It was a night of horror, terrible anguish, when I imagined that your undelivered letter, stuck at some unknown post office, was being destroyed like a sick little stray dog . . . But today it arrived—and now it seems to me that in the mailbox where it was lying, in the sack where it was shaking, all the other letters absorbed, just by touching it, your unique charm and that that day all Germans received strange wonderful letters—letters that had gone mad because they had touched your handwriting. The thought that you exist is so divinely blissful in itself that it is ridiculous to talk about the everyday sadness of separation—a week’s, ten days’—what does it matter? since my whole life belongs to you. I wake at night and know that you are together with me,—I sense your sweet long legs, your neck through your hair, your trembling eyelashes—and then such happiness, such simmering bliss follows me in my dreams that I simply suffocate . . .
Vladimir Nabokov (Letters to Vera)
I might not have transferred to a new school, but it was still like I'd joined the world's oldest, grayest, least peppy cheerleading squad, and I was sick of being stuck in a castle like a prisoner myself with the whole lousy bunch of them. "Garda! Vin aici!" I heard myself growling in a voice I'd never used before. I wasn't sure where the words came from, either. They weren't on my DVD, but I must have heard Lucius summon the guards often enough that when I really needed to use the phrase it just came out, and both of the vampires who were posted at the doors stepped to my sides. I didn't look around at the Elders—I wasn't about to stop glaring at my new worst enemy—but I heard murmurs again, like everybody was more surprised by my flawless Romanian than by my announcement about the trial. I narrowed my eyes at Flaviu. "Well? Do you want to see how long you can last without blood?
Beth Fantaskey (Jessica Rules the Dark Side (Jessica, #2))
family is not defined by blood. It’s not always who you’re born to that you’re stuck with. It’s what you want it to be, what you make of it. It’s the people around you who see you at your worst and are not afraid to pick up the pieces when you fall apart. It’s the people who can call you on your bullshit. It’s tough to hear, but if you do hear it, it means that someone gives a damn about you and chances are you should probably listen. It’s the people who look at you each time they see you like they haven’t seen you in years. It’s the people who you fight for. It’s the people you’d lay down your life for. It’s the scariest thing in the world, but, if you let it, it’s also the greatest. If I could have you remember anything from our time together, it would be that it’s not about where you come from. It’s about who you are.
T.J. Klune (Who We Are (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #2))
Have you ever wondered why the keys on a typewriter are arranged in that particular order?” “No, I haven’t.” “We call it the QWERTY keyboard, because that’s the order of the letters on the first row of keys. I once wondered why it was like that, and I found the answer. The first machine was invented by Christopher Sholes, in 1873, to improve on calligraphy, but there was a problem: If a person typed very fast, the keys got stuck together and stopped the machine from working. Then Sholes designed the QWERTY keyboard, a keyboard that would oblige typists to type more slowly. ” “I don’t believe it.” “But it’s true. It so happened that Remington—which made sewing machines as well as guns at the time—used the QWERTY keyboard for its first typewriters. That meant that more people were forced to learn that particular system, and more companies started to make those keyboards, until it became the only available model. To repeat: The keyboard on typewriters and computers was designed so that people would type more slowly, not more quickly, do you understand? If you changed the letters around, you wouldn’t find anyone to buy your product.” When she saw a keyboard for the first time, Mari had wondered why the letters weren’t in alphabetical order, but she had then promptly forgotten about it. She assumed it was simply the best layout for people to type quickly.
Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
If I'm a bad person, you don't like me Well I guess I'll make my own way It's a circle A mean cycle I can't excite you anymore Where's your gavel? Your jury? What's my offense this time? You're not a judge but if you're gonna judge me Well sentence me to another life Don't wanna hear your sad songs I don't wanna feel your pain When you swear it's all my fault Cause you know we're not the same (no) We're not the same (no) Oh we're not the same Yeah the friends who stuck together We wrote our names in blood But I guess you can't accept that the change is good (hey) It's good (hey) It's good Well you treat me just like another stranger Well it's nice to meet you sir I guess I'll go I best be on my way out You treat me just like another stranger Well it's nice to meet you sir I guess I'll go I best be on my way out Ignorance is your new best friend Ignorance is your new best friend This is the best thing that could've happened Any longer and I wouldn't have made it It's not a war no, it's not a rapture I'm just a person but you can't take it The same tricks that, that once fooled me They won't get you anywhere I'm not the same kid from your memory Well now I can fend for myself Don't wanna hear your sad songs I don't wanna feel your pain When you swear it's all my fault Cause you know we're not the same (no) We're not the same (no) Oh we're not the same Yeah we used to stick together We wrote our names in blood But I guess you can't accept that the change is good (hey) It's good (hey) It's good Well you treat me just like another stranger Well it's nice to meet you sir I guess I'll go I best be on my way out You treat me just like another stranger Well it's nice to meet you sir I guess I'll go I best be on my way out Ignorance is your new best friend Ignorance is your new best friend Ignorance is your new best friend Ignorance is your new best friend Well you treat me just like another stranger Well it's nice to meet you sir I guess I'll go I best be on my way out You treat me just like another stranger Well it's nice to meet you sir I guess I'll go I best be on my way out
Hayley Williams
I used to be a Catholic, and when I first started police work, I worried about that. I saw a lot of people dead or dying for no apparent reason . . . not people I killed, just people. Little kids who'd drowned, people dying in auto accidents and with heart attacks and strokes. I saw a lineman burn to death, up on a pole, little bits and pieces, and nobody could help . . . . I watched them go, screaming and crying and sometimes just lying there with their tongues stuck out, heaving, with all the screaming and hollering from friends and relatives . . . and I never saw anyone looking beyond. I think, Michael, I think they just blink out. That's all. I think they go where the words on a computer screen go, when you turn it off. One minute they exist, maybe they're even profound, maybe the result of a great deal of work. The next . . . . Whiff. Gone.
John Sandford (Eyes of Prey (Lucas Davenport, #3))
Reminiscing in the drizzle of Portland, I notice the ring that’s landed on your finger, a massive insect of glitter, a chandelier shining at the end of a long tunnel. Thirteen years ago, you hid the hurt in your voice under a blanket and said there’s two kinds of women—those you write poems about and those you don’t. It’s true. I never brought you a bouquet of sonnets, or served you haiku in bed. My idea of courtship was tapping Jane’s Addiction lyrics in Morse code on your window at three A.M., whiskey doing push-ups on my breath. But I worked within the confines of my character, cast as the bad boy in your life, the Magellan of your dark side. We don’t have a past so much as a bunch of electricity and liquor, power never put to good use. What we had together makes it sound like a virus, as if we caught one another like colds, and desire was merely a symptom that could be treated with soup and lots of sex. Gliding beside you now, I feel like the Benjamin Franklin of monogamy, as if I invented it, but I’m still not immune to your waterfall scent, still haven’t developed antibodies for your smile. I don’t know how long regret existed before humans stuck a word on it. I don’t know how many paper towels it would take to wipe up the Pacific Ocean, or why the light of a candle being blown out travels faster than the luminescence of one that’s just been lit, but I do know that all our huffing and puffing into each other’s ears—as if the brain was a trick birthday candle—didn’t make the silence any easier to navigate. I’m sorry all the kisses I scrawled on your neck were written in disappearing ink. Sometimes I thought of you so hard one of your legs would pop out of my ear hole, and when I was sleeping, you’d press your face against the porthole of my submarine. I’m sorry this poem has taken thirteen years to reach you. I wish that just once, instead of skidding off the shoulder blade’s precipice and joyriding over flesh, we’d put our hands away like chocolate to be saved for later, and deciphered the calligraphy of each other’s eyelashes, translated a paragraph from the volumes of what couldn’t be said.
Jeffrey McDaniel
It’s weird for people who still have feelings to be around depressed people. They try to help you have feelings again so things can go back to normal, and it’s frustrating for them when that doesn’t happen. From their perspective, it seems like there has got to be some untapped source of happiness within you that you’ve simply lost track of, and if you could just see how beautiful things are . . . At first, I’d try to explain that it’s not really negativity or sadness anymore, it’s more just this detached, meaningless fog where you can’t feel anything about anything—even the things you love, even fun things—and you’re horribly bored and lonely, but since you’ve lost your ability to connect with any of the things that would normally make you feel less bored and lonely, you’re stuck in the boring, lonely, meaningless void without anything to distract you from how boring, lonely, and meaningless it is.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half)
When she says margarita she means daiquiri. When she says quixotic she means mercurial. And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again," she means, "Put your arms around me from behind as I stand disconsolate at the window." He's supposed to know that. When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in Virginia or he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading, or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he is raking leaves in Ithaca or he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolate at the window overlooking the bay where a regatta of many-colored sails is going on while he is stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway. When a woman loves a man it is one ten in the morning she is asleep he is watching the ball scores and eating pretzels drinking lemonade and two hours later he wakes up and staggers into bed where she remains asleep and very warm. When she says tomorrow she means in three or four weeks. When she says, "We're talking about me now," he stops talking. Her best friend comes over and says, "Did somebody die?" When a woman loves a man, they have gone to swim naked in the stream on a glorious July day with the sound of the waterfall like a chuckle of water rushing over smooth rocks, and there is nothing alien in the universe. Ripe apples fall about them. What else can they do but eat? When he says, "Ours is a transitional era," "that's very original of you," she replies, dry as the martini he is sipping. They fight all the time It's fun What do I owe you? Let's start with an apology Ok, I'm sorry, you dickhead. A sign is held up saying "Laughter." It's a silent picture. "I've been fucked without a kiss," she says, "and you can quote me on that," which sounds great in an English accent. One year they broke up seven times and threatened to do it another nine times. When a woman loves a man, she wants him to meet her at the airport in a foreign country with a jeep. When a man loves a woman he's there. He doesn't complain that she's two hours late and there's nothing in the refrigerator. When a woman loves a man, she wants to stay awake. She's like a child crying at nightfall because she didn't want the day to end. When a man loves a woman, he watches her sleep, thinking: as midnight to the moon is sleep to the beloved. A thousand fireflies wink at him. The frogs sound like the string section of the orchestra warming up. The stars dangle down like earrings the shape of grapes.
David Lehman (When a Woman Loves a Man: Poems)
I went back in and grabbed my running clothes, then changed in the bathroom. I opened the door to the bathroom, stopping when I saw Kaidan's toiletry bag on the sink. I was overcome with curiosity about his cologne or aftershave, because I'd never smelled it on anyone else before. Feeling sneaky, I prodded one finger into the bag and peeked. No cologne bottle. Only a razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. I picked up the deodorant, pulled off the lid, and smelled it. Nope, that wasn't it. The sound of Kaidan's deep chuckle close to the doorway made me scream and drop the deodorant into the sink with a clatter. I smacked one hand to my chest and grabbed the edge of the sink with the other. He laughed out loud now. “Okay, that must have looked really bad.” I spoke to his reflection in the mirror, then fumbled to pick up the deodorant. I put the lid on and dropped it in his bag. “But I was just trying to figure out what cologne you wear.” My face was on fire as Kaidan stepped into the small bathroom and leaned against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. I stepped away. He seemed entertained by my predicament. “I haven't been wearing any cologne.” “Oh.” I cleared my throat. “Well, I didn't see any, so I thought it might be your deodorant, but that's not it either. Maybe it's your laundry detergent or something. Let's just forget about it.” “What is it you smell, exactly?” His voice took on a husky quality, and it felt like he was taking up a lot of room. I couldn't bring myself to look at him. Something strange was going on here. I stepped back, hitting the tub with my heel as I tried to put the scent into words. “I don't know. It's like citrus and the forest or something...leaves and tree sap. I can't explain it.” His eyes bored into mine while he wore that trademark sexy smirk, arms still crossed. “Citrus?” he asked. “Like lemons?” “Oranges mostly. And a little lime, too.” He nodded and flicked his head to the side to get hair out of his eyes. Then his smile disappeared and his badge throbbed. “What you smell are my pheromones, Anna.” A small, nervous laugh burst from my throat. “Oh, okay, then. Well...” I eyed the small space that was available to pass through the door. I made an awkward move toward it, but he shifted his body and I stepped back again. “People can't usually smell pheromones,” he told me. “You must be using your extra senses without realizing it. I've heard of Neph losing control of their senses with certain emotions. Fear, surprise...lust.” I rubbed my hands up and down my upper arms, wanting nothing more than to veer this conversation out of the danger zone. “Yeah, I do have a hard time reining in the scent sometimes,” I babbled. “It even gets away from me while I sleep now and then. I wake up thinking Patti's making cinnamon rolls and it ends up being from someone else's apartment. Then I'm just stuck with cereal. Anyway...” “Would you like to know your own scent?” he asked me. My heart swelled up big in my chest and squeezed small again. This whole scent thing was way too sensual to be discussed in this small space. Any second now my traitorous body would be emitting some of those pheromones and there'd be red in my aura. “Uh, not really,” I said, keeping my eyes averted. “I think I should probably go.” He made no attempt to move out of the doorway. “You smell like pears with freesia undertones.” “Wow, okay.” I cleared my throat, still refusing eye contact. I had to get out of there. “I think I'll just...” I pointed to the door and began to shuffle past him, doing my best not to brush up against him. He finally took a step back and put his hands up by his sides to show that he wouldn't touch me. I broke out of the confined bathroom and took a deep breath.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read to the end just to find out who killed the cook. Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark, in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication. Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot, the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones that crimped your toes, don’t regret those. Not the nights you called god names and cursed your mother, sunk like a dog in the livingroom couch,b chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness. You were meant to inhale those smoky nights over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches. You’ve walked those streets a thousand times and still you end up here. Regret none of it, not one of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing, when the lights from the carnival rides were the only stars you believed in, loving them for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved. You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake, ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied of expectation. Relax. Don’t bother remembering any of it. Let’s stop here, under the lit sign on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.
Dorianne Laux (The Book of Men)
So, there was this beautiful princess. She was locked in a high tower, one whose smart walls had cleaver holes in them that could give her anything: food, a clique of fantastic friends, wonderful clothes. And, best of all, there was this mirror on the wall, so that the princess could look at her beautiful self all day long. The only problem with the tower was that there way no way out. The builders had forgotten to put in an elevator, or even a set of stairs. She was stuck up there. One day, the princess realized that she was bored. The view from the tower--gentle hills, fields of white flowers, and a deep, dark forest--fascinated her. She started spending more time looking out the window than at her own reflection, as is often the case with troublesome girls. And it was pretty clear that no prince was showing up, or at least that he was really late. So the only thing was to jump. The hole in the wall gave her a lovely parasol to catch her when she fell, and a wonderful new dress to wear in the fields and forest, and a brass key to make sure she could get back into the tower if she needed to. But the princess, laughing pridefully, tossed the key into the fireplace, convinced she would never need to return to the tower. Without another glance in the mirror, she strolled out onto the balcony and stepped off into midair. The thing was, it was a long way down, a lot farther than the princess had expected, and the parasol turned out to be total crap. As she fell, the princess realized she should have asked for a bungee jacket or a parachute or something better than a parasol, you know? She struck the ground hard, and lay there in a crumpled heap, smarting and confused, wondering how things had worked out this way. There was no prince around to pick her up, her new dress was ruined, and thanks to her pride, she had no way back into the tower. And the worst thing was, there were no mirrors out there in the wild, so the princess was left wondering whether she in fact was still beautiful . . . or if the fall had changed the story completely.
Scott Westerfeld (Pretties (Uglies, #2))
Frank grabbed a tourist brochure stuck under the napkin dispenser. He began to read it. Piper patted Leo’s arm, like she couldn’t believe he was really here. Nico stood at the edge of the group, eyeing the passing pedestrians as if they might be enemies. Coach Hedge munched on the salt and pepper shakers. Despite the happy reunion, everybody seemed more subdued than usual—like they were picking up on Leo’s mood. Jason had never really considered how important Leo’s sense of humor was to the group. Even when things were super serious, they could always depend on Leo to lighten things up. Now, it felt like the whole team had dropped anchor. “So then Jason harnessed the venti,” Hazel finished. “And here we are.” Leo whistled. “Hot-air horses? Dang, Jason. So basically, you held a bunch of gas together all the way to Malta, and then you let it loose.” Jason frowned. “You know, it doesn’t sound so heroic when you put it that way.” “Yeah, well. I’m an expert on hot air. I’m still wondering, why Malta? I just kind of ended up here on the raft, but was that a random thing, or—” “Maybe because of this.” Frank tapped his brochure. “Says here Malta was where Calypso lived.” A pint of blood drained from Leo’s face. “W-what now?” Frank shrugged. “According to this, her original home was an island called Gozo just north of here. Calypso’s a Greek myth thingie, right?” “Ah, a Greek myth thingie!” Coach Hedge rubbed his hands together. “Maybe we get to fight her! Do we get to fight her? ’Cause I’m ready.” “No,” Leo murmured. “No, we don’t have to fight her, Coach.” Piper frowned. “Leo, what’s wrong? You look—” “Nothing’s wrong!” Leo shot to his feet. “Hey, we should get going. We’ve got work to do!” “But…where did you go?” Hazel asked. “Where did you get those clothes? How—” “Jeez, ladies!” Leo said. “I appreciate the concern, but I don’t need two extra moms!” Piper smiled uncertainly. “Okay, but—” “Ships to fix!” Leo said. “Festus to check! Earth goddesses to punch in the face! What are we waiting for? Leo’s back!” He spread his arms and grinned. He was making a brave attempt, but Jason could see the sadness lingering in his eyes. Something had happened to him…something to do with Calypso.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
The first I knew about it was when a workman arrived at my home yesterday. I asked him if he'd come to clean the windows and he said no, he'd come to demolish the house. He didn't tell me straight away of course. Oh no. First he wiped a couple of windows and charged me a fiver. Then he told me." "But Mr. Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months." "Oh yes, well, as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything." "But the plans were on display..." "On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them." "That's the display department." "With a flashlight." "Ah, well, the lights had probably gone." "So had the stairs." "But look, you found the notice didn't you?" "Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Six is a bad time too 'cause that's when some real scary things start to happen to your body, it's around then that your teeth start to coming a-loose in your mouth. You wake up one morning and it seems like your tongue is the first one to notice that something strange is going on, 'cause as soon as you get up there it is pushing and rubbing up against one of your front teeth and I'll be doggoned if that tooth isn't the littlest bit wiggly. At first you think it's kind of funny, but the tooth keeps getting looser and looser and one day, in the middle of pushing the tooth back and forth and squinching your eyes shut, you pull it clean out. It's the scariest thing you can think of 'cause you lose control of your tongue at the same time and no matter how hard you try to stop it, it won't leave the new hold in your mouth alone, it keeps digging around in the spot where that tooth used to be. You tell some adult about what's happening but all they do is say it's normal. You can't be too sure, though, 'cause it shakes you up a whole lot more than grown folks think it does when perfectly good parts of your body commence to loosening up and falling of off you. Unless you're as stupid as a lamppost you've got to wonder what's coming off next, your arm? Your leg? Your neck? Every morning when you wake up it seems a lot of your parts aren't stuck on as good as they used to be.
Christopher Paul Curtis (Bud, Not Buddy)
Did you ever get fed up?" I said. "I mean did you ever get scared that everything was going to go lousy unless you did something? I mean do you like school and all that stuff?" "It's a terrific bore." "I mean do you hate it? I know it's a terrific bore, but do you hate it, is what I mean." "Well, I don't exactly hate it. You always have to--" "Well, I hate it. Boy, do I hate it," I said. "But it isn't just that. It's everything. I hate living in New York and all. Taxicabs, and Madison Avenue buses, with the drivers and all always yelling at you to get out at the rear door, and being introduced to phony guys that call the Lunts angels, and going up and down in elevators when you just want to go outside, and guys fitting your pants all the time at Brooks, and people always--" "Don't shout, please," old Sally said. Which was very funny, because I wasn't even shouting. "Take cars," I said. I said it in this very quiet voice. "Take most people, they're crazy about cars. They worry if they get a little scratch on them, and they're always talking about how many miles they get to a gallon, and if they get a brand-new car already they start thinking about trading it in for one that's even newer. I don't even like old cars. I mean they don't even interest me. I'd rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human, for God's sake. A horse you can at least--" "I don't know what you're even talking about," old Sally said. "You jump from one--" "You know something?" I said. You're probably the only reason I'm in New York right now, or anywhere. If you weren't around, I'd probably be someplace way the hell off. In the woods or some goddam place. You're the only reason I'm around, practically." "You're sweet," she said. But you could tell she wanted me to change the damn subject. "You ought to go to a boys' school sometime. Try it sometime," I said. "It's full of phonies, and all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart enough to be able to buy a goddam Cadillac some day, and you have to keep making believe you give a damn if the football team loses, and all you do is talk about girls and liquor and sex all day, and everybody sticks together in these dirty little goddam cliques. The guys that are on the basketball team stuck together, the Catholics stick together, the guys that play bridge stick together. Even the guys that belong to the goddam Book-of-the-Month Club stick together. If you try to have a little intelligent--" "Now, listen," old Sally said. "Lots of boys get more out of school that that." "I agree! I agree they do, some of them! But that's all I get out of it. See? That's my point. That's exactly my goddamn point," I said. "I don't get hardly anything out of anything. I'm in bad shape. I'm in lousy shape." "You certainly are.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
Junko: That sort of thing happens all the time. You get drunk on your own "correctness," and the more stubborn you get, the further happiness flies away from you. It's a bitter pill to swallow. Madoka: I wonder if there's any way I can help... Junko: Even good advice from others won't bring any clear solutions to someone in that frame of mind. ...Even so, you want to find a solution? Then go ahead and screw up. If she's being too correct, then somebody should make mistakes for her. Madoka: I should screw up...? Junko: Yep! Tell a really bad lie. Run away in the face of something scary. She may not understand what you're trying to do at first, but there are times when you realize in hindsight that a mistake was the right thing to do... During those times when you're just stuck for an answer, making a mistake is one method of unsticking yourself. Madoka, you've grown up to be a good kid. You don't tell lies, and you don't do bad things. You're a girl who works hard at what she thinks is right. You get an "A" as a child. So before you become an adult, you have to start practicing falling down. You see, we adults have our pride and responsibilities, so it becomes harder and harder to make mistakes.
Magica Quartet (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Vol. 2 (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, #2))
You burn to have your photograph in a tennis magazine.” “I’m afraid so.” “Why again exactly, now?” “I guess to be felt about as I feel about those players with their pictures in magazines.” “Why?” “Why? I guess to give my life some sort of meaning, Lyle.” “And how would this do this again?” “Lyle, I don’t know. I do not know. It just does. Would. Why else would I burn like this, clip secret pictures, not take risks, not sleep or pee?” “You feel these men with their photographs in magazines care deeply about having their photographs in magazines. Derive immense meaning.” “I do. They must. I would. Else why would I burn like this to feel as they feel?” “The meaning they feel, you mean. From the fame.” “Lyle, don’t they?” “LaMont, perhaps they did at first. The first photograph, the first magazine, the gratified surge, the seeing themselves as others see them, the hagiography of image, perhaps. Perhaps the first time: enjoyment. After that, do you trust me, trust me: they do not feel what you burn for. After the first surge, they care only that their photographs seem awkward or unflattering, or untrue, or that their privacy, this thing you burn to escape, what they call their privacy is being violated. Something changes. After the first photograph has been in a magazine, the famous men do not enjoy their photographs in magazines so much as they fear that their photographs will cease to appear in magazines. They are trapped, just as you are.” “Is this supposed to be good news? This is awful news.” “LaMont, are you willing to listen to a Remark about what is true?” “Okey-dokey.” “The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.” “Maybe I ought to be getting back.” “LaMont, the world is very old. You have been snared by something untrue. You are deluded. But this is good news. You have been snared by the delusion that envy has a reciprocal. You assume that there is a flip-side to your painful envy of Michael Chang: namely Michael Chang’s enjoyable feeling of being-envied-by-LaMont-Chu. No such animal.” “Animal?” “You burn with hunger for food that does not exist.” “This is good news?” “It is the truth. To be envied, admired, is not a feeling. Nor is fame a feeling. There are feelings associated with fame, but few of them are any more enjoyable than the feelings associated with envy of fame.” “The burning doesn’t go away?” “What fire dies when you feed it? It is not fame itself they wish to deny you here. Trust them. There is much fear in fame. Terrible and heavy fear to be pulled and held, carried. Perhaps they want only to keep it off you until you weigh enough to pull toward yourself.” “Would I sound ungrateful if I said this doesn’t make me feel very much better at all?” “LaMont, the truth is that the world is incredibly, incredibly, unbelievably old. You suffer with the stunted desire caused by one of its oldest lies. Do not believe the photographs. Fame is not the exit from any cage.” “So I’m stuck in the cage from either side. Fame or tortured envy of fame. There’s no way out.” “You might consider how escape from a cage must surely require, foremost, awareness of the fact of the cage.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
You are not really dying,” he said, the oddest tone to his voice, “are you?”Jem nodded. “So they tell me.”“I am sorry,” Will said.“No,” Jem said softly. He drew his jacket aside and took a knife from the belt at his waist.“Don’t be ordinary like that. Don’t say you’re sorry. Say you’ll train with me.” He held out the knife to Will, hilt rst. Charlotte held her breath, afraid to move. She feltas if she were watching something very important happen, though she could not have saidwhat.Will reached out and took the knife, his eyes never leaving Jem’s face. His fingers brushedthe other boy’s as he took the weapon from him. It was the rst time, Charlotte thought,that she had ever seen him touch any other person willingly.“I’ll train with you,” he said. Jem, Will’s parabatai, treated her with the distant sweet kindness reserved for the littlesisters of one’s friends, but he would always side with Will. Kindly, but rmly, he put Willabove everything else in the world.Well, nearly everything. She had been most struck by Jem when she rst came to theInstitute—he had an unearthly, unusual beauty, with his silvery hair and eyes and delicate features. He looked like a prince in a fairy-tale book, and she might have considered developing an attachment to him, were it not so absolutely clear that he was entirely inlove with Tessa Gray. His eyes followed her where she went, and his voice changed when hespoke to her. Cecily had once heard her mother say in amusement that one of theirneighbors’ boys looked at a girl as if she were “the only star in the sky” and that was theway Jem looked at Tessa.Cecily didn’t resent it: Tessa was pleasant and kind to her, if a little shy, and with herface always stuck in a book, like Will. If that was the sort of girl Jem wanted, she and henever would have suited—and the longer she remained at the Institute, the more sherealized how awkward it would have made things with Will. He was ferociously protectiveof Jem, and he would have watched her constantly in case she ever distressed or hurt him inany way. No—she was far better out of the whole thing.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
The men digging in on both sides of me cursed the stench and the mud. I began moving the heavy, sticky clay mud with my entrenching shovel to shape out the extent of the foxhole before digging deeper. Each shovelful had to be knocked off the spade, because it stuck like glue. I was thoroughly exhausted and thought my strength wouldn’t last from one sticky shovelful to the next. Kneeling on the mud, I had dug the hole no more than six or eight inches deep when the odor of rotting flesh got worse. There was nothing to do but continue to dig, so I closed up my mouth and inhaled with short shallow breaths. Another spadeful of soil out of the hole released a mass of wriggling maggots that came welling up as though those beneath were pushing them out. I cursed and told the NCO as he came by what a mess I was digging into. ‘You heard him, he said put the holes five yards apart.’ In disgust, I drove the spade into the soil, scooped out the insects, and threw them down the front of the ridge. The next stroke of the spade unearthed buttons and scraps of cloth from a Japanese army jacket in the mud—and another mass of maggots. I kept on doggedly. With the next thrust, metal hit the breastbone of a rotting Japanese corpse. I gazed down in horror and disbelief as the metal scraped a clean track through the mud along the dirty whitish bone and cartilage with ribs attached. The shoved skidded into the rotting abdomen with a squishing sound. The odor nearly overwhelmed me as I rocked back on my heels. I began choking and gagging as I yelled in desperation, ‘I can’t dig in here! There’s a dead Nip here!’ The NCO came over, looked down at my problem and at me, and growled, ‘You heard him; he said put the holes five yards apart.
Eugene B. Sledge (With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa)
The Herons! The Herons! The mighty, fighting Herons! No other Brotherband you'll see Is even half as darin' We sailed away from Hallasholm, we had to be real quick, For Kloof had eaten Erak's ax and chewed his walking stick. We sailed across the Stormwite and we struck a mighty storm. We had to wear our woolly caps to keep us nice and warm. We sailed around Cape Shelter and then south to Araluen. We called upon the people there to find out what was doin'. We chased an evil slaver to the market of Socorro. "We can't rescue them tonight," said Hal. "We'll get them out tomorrow." Lydia and the Ranger burned the market to the ground. The rest of us, we freed the slaves then headed out of town. The Herons! The Herons! The mighty, fighting Herons! No other Brotherband you'll see Is even half as darin' The slave master named Mahmel was a nasty kind of thug, So Stiggy dropped a rock and crushed him like a bug. We sailed back to Cresthaven and we set the captives free. King Duncan said, "Well done, my lads, you're just the boys for me. My Ranger Gilan has to go hunt down some assassins So go along with him and give these wicked types a thrashin'." A pirate galley barred our way. We quickly overtook 'em. And Ingvar led the charge aboard to stab and chop and hook 'em. We beat the Tualaghi and the Scorpions as well. The Ranger stuck his saxe into the leader, the Shurmel. When all the assassins threw a fit of wild hysterics, Hal grabbed up the Shurmel's staff and brought it back for Erak. The Herons! The Herons! The mighty, fighting Herons! No other Brotherband you'll see Is even half as darin
John Flanagan
Really?” I whispered. He crossed his arms on his chest and stated, “Babe, you think I found the woman of my dreams at forty-five years old and I’m gonna let anything happen to her, think again. That’s a long fuckin’ time to wait for what you want. I waited. I found it. I’m pullin’ out all the stops to take care of it. I know you feel the same for me so I’m doin’ the same to keep me safe for you. So yeah, really, I called Delgado. I made peace and asked a favor. His woman is in your posse so she wouldn’t be doin’ cartwheels, he said no and something went down with you or, for you, me. And he isn’t dumb, he’s a man who knows to collect favors and he’s a man whose business means he often has the need to call markers. So his ear’s to the ground and his eyes are open so if a cop isn’t cruisin’ by your house or bakery, one of Lee’s boys or one of Hawk’s commandos are. Smart people pay attention to who’s cruisin’ around people they want to fuck with and smart people will see cops, Nightingale’s men and Delgado’s crazy motherfuckers and, my hope is, they’ll steer clear. So, there you go. Now you got a full explanation of what I mean when I say you’re on radar.” I heard all he said, I really did. But I was stuck at the beginning part where he told me I was the woman of his dreams.
Kristen Ashley (Wild Man (Dream Man, #2))
Granma said everybody has two minds. One of the minds has to do with the necessaries for body living. You had to use it to figure out how to get shelter and eating and such like for the body... She said we had to have that mind so as we could carry on. But she said we had another mind that had nothing atall to do with such. She said it was the spirit mind. Granma said if you used the body-living mind to think greedy or mean; if you was always cuttin' at folks with it and figuring how to material profit off'n them ... then you would shrink up your spirit mind to a size no bigger 'n a hickor'nut. Granma said that when your body died, the body-living mind died with it, and if that's the way you had thought all your life there you was, stuck with a hickor'nut spirit, as the spirit mind was all that lived when everything else died... Granma said that the spirit mind was like any other muscle. If you used it it got bigger and stronger. She said the only way it could get that way was using it to understand, but you couldn't open the door to it until you quit being greedy and such with your body mind. Then understanding commenced to take up, and the more you tried to understand, the bigger it got. Natural, she said, understanding and love was the same thing; except folks went at it back'ards too many times, trying to pretend they loved things when they didn't understand them. Which can't be done. I see right out that I was going to commence trying to understand practical everybody, for I sure didn't want to come up with a hickor'nut spirit.
Forrest Carter (The Education of Little Tree)
Ms. Lane.”Barrons’ voice is deep, touched with that strange Old World accent and mildly pissed off. Jericho Barrons is often mildly pissed off. I think he crawled from the swamp that way, chafed either by some condition in it, out of it, or maybe just the general mass incompetence he encountered in both places. He’s the most controlled, capable man I’ve ever known. After all we’ve been through together, he still calls me Ms. Lane, with one exception: When I’m in his bed. Or on the floor, or some other place where I’ve temporarily lost my mind and become convinced I can’t breathe without him inside me this very instant. Then the things he calls me are varied and nobody’s business but mine. I reply: “Barrons,” without inflection. I’ve learned a few things in our time together. Distance is frequently the only intimacy he’ll tolerate. Suits me. I’ve got my own demons. Besides I don’t believe good relationships come from living inside each other’s pockets. I believe divorce comes from that. I admire the animal grace with which he enters the room and moves toward me. He prefers dark colors, the better to slide in and out of the night, or a room, unnoticed except for whatever he’s left behind that you may or may not discover for some time, like, say a tattoo on the back of one’s skull. “What are you doing?” “Reading,” I say nonchalantly, rubbing the tattoo on the back of my skull. I angle the volume so he can’t see the cover. If he sees what I’m reading, he’ll know I’m looking for something. If he realizes how bad it’s gotten, and what I’m thinking about doing, he’ll try to stop me. He circles behind me, looks over my shoulder at the thick vellum of the ancient manuscript. “In the first tongue?” “Is that what it is?” I feign innocence. He knows precisely which cells in my body are innocent and which are thoroughly corrupted. He’s responsible for most of the corrupted ones. One corner of his mouth ticks up and I see the glint of beast behind his eyes, a feral crimson backlight, bloodstaining the whites. It turns me on. Barrons makes me feel violently, electrically sexual and alive. I’d march into hell beside him. But I will not let him march into hell beside me. And there’s no doubt that’s where I’m going. I thought I was strong, a heroine. I thought I was the victor. The enemy got inside my head and tried to seduce me with lies. It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing. Temptation isn’t a sin that you triumph over once, completely and then you’re free. Temptation slips into bed with you each night and helps you say your prayers. It wakes you in the morning with a friendly cup of coffee, and knows exactly how you take it. He skirts the Chesterfield sofa and stands over me. “Looking for something, Ms. Lane?” I’m eye level with his belt but that’s not where my gaze gets stuck and suddenly my mouth is so dry I can hardly swallow and I know I’m going to want to. I’m Pri-ya for this man. I hate it. I love it. I can’t escape it. I reach for his belt buckle. The manuscript slides from my lap, forgotten. Along with everything else but this moment, this man. “I just found it,” I tell him.
Karen Marie Moning (Burned (Fever, #7))
Try not to breathe,” I tell Lira. “It might get stuck halfway out.” Lira flicks up her hood. “You should try not to talk then,” she retorts. “Nobody wants your words being preserved for eternity.” “They’re pearls of wisdom, actually.” I can barely see Lira’s eyes under the mass of dark fur from her coat, but the mirthless curl of her smile is ever-present. It lingers in calculated amusement as she considers what to say next. Readies to ricochet the next blow. Lira pulls a line of ice from her hair, artfully indifferent. “If that is what pearls are worth these days, I’ll make sure to invest in diamonds.” “Or gold,” I tell her smugly. “I hear it’s worth its weight.” Kye shakes the snow from his sword and scoffs. “Anytime you two want to stop making me feel nauseated, go right ahead.” “Are you jealous because I’m not flirting with you?” Madrid asks him, warming her finger on the trigger mechanism of her gun. “I don’t need you to flirt with me,” he says. “I already know you find me irresistible.” Madrid reholsters her gun. “It’s actually quite easy to resist you when you’re dressed like that.” Kye looks down at the sleek red coat fitted snugly to his lithe frame. The fur collar cuddles against his jaw and obscures the bottoms of his ears, making it seem as though he has no neck at all. He throws Madrid a smile. “Is it because you think I look sexier wearing nothing?” Torik lets out a withering sigh and pinches the bridge of his nose. I’m not sure whether it’s from the hours we’ve gone without food or his inability to wear cutoffs in the biting cold, but his patience seems to be wearing thin. “I could swear that I’m on a life-and-death mission with a bunch of lusty kids,” he says. “Next thing I know, the lot of you will be writing love notes in rum bottles.” “Okay,” Madrid says. “Now I feel nauseated.” I laugh.
Alexandra Christo (To Kill a Kingdom)
(...) the small of his back slick with sweat, the surprisingly soft hair brushing my body when he took control. And moved over me. "Stop it", Pritkin grated, his voice somehow cutting through the fog. But he didn't let go. I suppose he was afraid to, because a Pythia or one of her senior initiates could shift without him if there was no contact. But that left us stuck together, and that was becoming really, really- Awesome, my body piped up enthusiastically. "I told you, cut it out!" Pritkin said, sounding pissed. "You first," I snarled, snapping my eyes open to glare at him, because he wasn't exactly helping. Of course, neither did that. He must have been jogging, probably his usual early morning ten-mile warm-up before coming to torture me. At least, I assumed that was why the rock-hard abs were outlined by a damp khaki T-shirt, the thin old sweatpants were clinging in all the right places, and the sleeves of the hoodie had been pushed to his elbows, showing the flexing muscles in his forearms. And then there were those hands and those eyes and that mouth... I shivered again, a full-on shudder this time, and he cursed. But that didn't seem to matter. Because it had come out like a growl, and my body liked that, too. My hips shifted automatically, pressing us together, and I gave a little gasp because it felt so good. And then gasped again when I was abruptly released.
Karen Chance (Tempt the Stars (Cassandra Palmer, #6))
I’m also really sorry that I’ve been so rude to you. I’m not normally. I don’t know where all the sarcasm comes from.” Ren raised an eyebrow. “Okay. I have a cynical, evil side that is normally hidden. But when I’m under great stress or extremely desperate, it comes out.” He set down my foot, picked up the other one, and began massaging it with his thumbs. He didn’t say anything, so I continued, “Being cold-hearted and nasty was the only thing I could do to push you away. It was kind of a dense mechanism.” “So you admit you were trying to push me away.” “Yes. Of course.” “And it’s because you’re a radish.” Frustrated, I said, “Yes! Now that you’re a man again, you’ll find someone better for you, someone who complements you. It’s not your fault. I mean, you’ve been a tiger so long that you just don’t know how the world works.” “Right. And how does the world work, Kelsey?” I could hear the frustration in his voice but pressed on. “Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but you could be going out with some supermodel-turned-actress. Haven’t you been paying attention?” Angrily, he shouted, “Oh, yes, indeed I am paying attention! What you are saying is that I should be a stuck-up, rich, shallow, libertine who cares only about wealth, power, and bettering my status. That I should date superficial, fickle, pretentious, brainless women who care more about my connections than they do about me. And that I am not wise enough, or up-to-date enough, to know who I want or what I want in life! Does that sum it up?” I squeaked out a small, “Yes.” “You truly feel this way?” I flinched. “Yes.” Ren leaned forward. “Well, you’re wrong, Kelsey. Wrong about yourself and wrong about me!” He was livid. I shifted uncomfortably while he went on. “I know what I want. I’m not operating under any delusions. I’ve studied people from a cage for centuries, and that’s given me ample time to figure out my priorities. From the first moment I saw you, the first time I heard your voice, I knew you were different. You were special. The first time you reached your hand into my cage and touched me, you made me feel alive in a way I’ve never felt before.” “Maybe it’s all just a part of the curse. Did you ever think of that? Maybe these aren’t your true feelings. Maybe you sensed that I was the one to help you, and you’ve somehow misinterpreted your emotions.” “I highly doubt it. I’ve never felt this way about anyone, even before the curse.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
What is important is that you get your house in order at each stage of the journey so that you can proceed. “If some day it be given to you to pass into the inner temple, you must leave no enemies behind.”—de Lubicz For example, if you never got on well with one of your parents and you have left that parent behind on your journey in such a way that the thought of that parent arouses anger or frustration or self-pity or any emotion . . . you are still attached. You are still stuck. And you must get that relationship straight before you can finish your work. And what, specifically, does “getting it straight” mean? Well, it means re-perceiving that parent, or whoever it may be, with total compassion . . . seeing him as a being of the spirit, just like you, who happens to be your parent . . . and who happens to have this or that characteristic, and who happens to be at a certain stage of his evolutionary journey. You must see that all beings are just beings . . . and that all the wrappings of personality and role and body are the coverings. Your attachments are only to the coverings, and as long as you are attached to someone else’s covering you are stuck, and you keep them stuck, in that attachment. Only when you can see the essence, can see God, in each human being do you free yourself and those about you. It’s hard work when you have spent years building a fixed model of who someone else is to abandon it, but until that model is superceded by a compassionate model, you are still stuck. In India they say that in order to proceed with one’s work one needs one’s parents’ blessings. Even if the parent has died, you must in your heart and mind, re-perceive that relationship until it becomes, like every one of your current relationships, one of light. If the person is still alive you may, when you have proceeded far enough, revisit and bring the relationship into the present. For, if you can keep the visit totally in the present, you will be free and finished. The parent may or may not be . . . but that is his karmic predicament. And if you have been truly in the present, and if you find a place in which you can share even a brief eternal moment . . . this is all it takes to get the blessing of your parent! It obviously doesn’t demand that the parent say, “I bless you.” Rather it means that he hears you as a fellow being, and honors the divine spark within you. And even a moment in the Here and Now . . . a single second shared in the eternal present . . . in love . . . is all that is required to free you both, if you are ready to be freed. From then on, it’s your own individual karma that determines how long you can maintain that high moment.
Ram Dass (Be Here Now)
The only gain of civilisation for mankind is the greater capacity for variety of sensations--and absolutely nothing more. And through the development of this many-sidedness man may come to finding enjoyment in bloodshed. In fact, this has already happened to him. Have you noticed that it is the most civilised gentlemen who have been the subtlest slaughterers, to whom the Attilas and Stenka Razins could not hold a candle, and if they are not so conspicuous as the Attilas and Stenka Razins it is simply because they are so often met with, are so ordinary and have become so familiar to us. In any case civilisation has made mankind if not more bloodthirsty, at least more vilely, more loathsomely bloodthirsty. In old days he saw justice in bloodshed and with his conscience at peace exterminated those he thought proper. Now we do think bloodshed abominable and yet we engage in this abomination, and with more energy than ever. Which is worse? Decide that for yourselves. They say that Cleopatra (excuse an instance from Roman history) was fond of sticking gold pins into her slave-girls' breasts and derived gratification from their screams and writhings. You will say that that was in the comparatively barbarous times; that these are barbarous times too, because also, comparatively speaking, pins are stuck in even now; that though man has now learned to see more clearly than in barbarous ages, he is still far from having learnt to act as reason and science would dictate. But yet you are fully convinced that he will be sure to learn when he gets rid of certain old bad habits, and when common sense and science have completely re-educated human nature and turned it in a normal direction. You are confident that then man will cease from INTENTIONAL error and will, so to say, be compelled not to want to set his will against his normal interests. That is not all; then, you say, science itself will teach man (though to my mind it's a superfluous luxury) that he never has really had any caprice or will of his own, and that he himself is something of the nature of a piano-key or the stop of an organ, and that there are, besides, things called the laws of nature; so that everything he does is not done by his willing it, but is done of itself, by the laws of nature. Consequently we have only to discover these laws of nature, and man will no longer have to answer for his actions and life will become exceedingly easy for him. All human actions will then, of course, be tabulated according to these laws, mathematically, like tables of logarithms up to 108,000, and entered in an index; or, better still, there would be published certain edifying works of the nature of encyclopaedic lexicons, in which everything will be so clearly calculated and explained that there will be no more incidents or adventures in the world.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from the Underground)
When we strike a balance between the challenge of an activity and our skill at performing it, when the rhythm of the work itself feels in sync with our pulse, when we know that what we're doing matters, we can get totally absorbed in our task. That is happiness. The life coach Martha Beck asks new potential clients, "Is there anything you do regularly that makes you forget what time it is?" That forgetting -- that pure absorption -- is what the psychologist Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi calls "flow" or optimal experience. In an interview with Wired magazine, he described flow as "being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost." In a typical day that teeters between anxiety and boredom, flow experiences are those flashes of intense living -- bright against the dull. These optimal experiences can happen when we're engaged in work paid and unpaid, in sports, in music, in art. The researchers Maria Allison and Margaret Duncan have studied the role of flow in women's lives and looked at factors that contributed to what they call "antiflow." Antiflow was associated with repetitive household tasks, repetitive tasks at work, unchallenging tasks, and work we see as meaningless. But there's an element of chaos when it comes to flow. Even if we're doing meaningful and challenging work, that sense of total absoprtion can elude us. We might get completely and beautifully lost in something today, and, try as we might to re-create the same conditions tomorrow, our task might jsut feel like, well, work. In A Life of One's Own, Marion Milner described her effort to re-create teh conditions of her own recorded moments of happiness, saying, "Often when I felt certain that I had discovered the little mental act which produced the change I walked on air, exulting that I had found the key to my garden of delight and could slip through the door whenever I wished. But most often when I came again the place seemed different, the door overgrown with thorns and my key stuck in the lock. It was as if the first time I had said 'abracadabra' the door had opened, but the next time I must use a different word. (123-124).
Ariel Gore (Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness)
The more obsessed with personal identity campus liberals become, the less willing they become to engage in reasoned political debate. Over the past decade a new, and very revealing, locution has drifted from our universities into the media mainstream: 'Speaking as an X' . . . This is not an anodyne phrase. It tells the listener that I am speaking from a privileged position on this matter. (One never says, 'Speaking as an gay Asian, I fell incompetent to judge on this matter'). It sets up a wall against questions, which by definition come from a non-X perspective. And it turns the encounter into a power relation: the winner of the argument will be whoever has invoked the morally superior identity and expressed the most outrage at being questioned. So classroom conversations that once might have begun, 'I think A, and here is my argument', now take the form, 'Speaking as an X, I am offended that you claim B'. This makes perfect sense if you believe that identity determines everything. It means that there is no impartial space for dialogue. White men have one "epistemology", black women have another. So what remains to be said? What replaces argument, then, is taboo. At times our more privileged campuses can seem stuck in the world of archaic religion. Only those with an approved identity status are, like shamans, allowed to speak on certain matters. Particular groups -- today the transgendered -- are given temporary totemic significance. Scapegoats -- today conservative political speakers -- are duly designated and run off campus in a purging ritual. Propositions become pure or impure, not true or false. And not only propositions but simple words. Left identitarians who think of themselves as radical creatures, contesting this and transgressing that, have become like buttoned-up Protestant schoolmarms when it comes to the English language, parsing every conversation for immodest locutions and rapping the knuckles of those who inadvertently use them.
Mark Lilla (The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)
New Rule: Not everything in America has to make a profit. If conservatives get to call universal health care "socialized medicine," I get to call private, for-profit health care "soulless vampire bastards making money off human pain." Now, I know what you're thinking: "But, Bill, the profit motive is what sustains capitalism." Yes, and our sex drive is what sustains the human species, but we don't try to fuck everything. It wasn't that long ago when a kid in America broke his leg, his parents took him to the local Catholic hospital, the nun stuck a thermometer in his ass, the doctor slapped some plaster on his ankle, and you were done. The bill was $1.50; plus, you got to keep the thermometer. But like everything else that's good and noble in life, some bean counter decided that hospitals could be big business, so now they're not hospitals anymore; they're Jiffy Lubes with bedpans. The more people who get sick, and stay sick, the higher their profit margins, which is why they're always pushing the Jell-O. Did you know that the United States is ranked fiftieth in the world in life expectancy? And the forty-nine loser countries were they live longer than us? Oh, it's hardly worth it, they may live longer, but they live shackled to the tyranny of nonprofit health care. Here in America, you're not coughing up blood, little Bobby, you're coughing up freedom. The problem with President Obama's health-care plan isn't socialism. It's capitalism. When did the profit motive become the only reason to do anything? When did that become the new patriotism? Ask not what you could do for your country, ask what's in it for Blue Cross Blue Shield. And it's not just medicine--prisons also used to be a nonprofit business, and for good reason--who the hell wants to own a prison? By definition, you're going to have trouble with the tenants. It's not a coincidence that we outsourced running prisons to private corporations and then the number of prisoners in America skyrocketed. There used to be some things we just didn't do for money. Did you know, for example, there was a time when being called a "war profiteer" was a bad thing? FDR said he didn't want World War II to create one millionaire, but I'm guessing Iraq has made more than a few executives at Halliburton into millionaires. Halliburton sold soldiers soda for $7.50 a can. They were honoring 9/11 by charging like 7-Eleven. Which is wrong. We're Americans; we don't fight wars for money. We fight them for oil. And my final example of the profit motive screwing something up that used to be good when it was nonprofit: TV news. I heard all the news anchors this week talk about how much better the news coverage was back in Cronkite's day. And I thought, "Gee, if only you were in a position to do something about it.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
I’ve experienced a lot in my life. I’ve been in bloody battles. I’ve been with friends who were killed. I’ve seen terrible things done to man and beast, but I’ve never felt afraid. “I’ve been troubled. I’ve also been uneasy and tense. I’ve been in mortal danger, but I’ve never experienced that cold-sweat kind of fear, the kind that eats a man alive, brings him to his knees, and makes him beg. In fact, I always prided myself on being above that. I thought that I’d suffered through and seen so much that nothing could scare me anymore. That nothing could bring me to that point.” He brushed a brief kiss on my neck. “I was wrong. When I found you and saw that…that thing trying to kill you, I was enraged. I destroyed it without hesitation.” “The Kappa were terrifying.” “I wasn’t afraid of the Kappa. I was afraid…that I’d lost you. I felt an unquenchable, gut-wrenching, corrosive fear. It was unbearable. The most agonizing part was realizing that I didn’t want to live anymore if you were gone and knowing there was nothing I could do about it. I would be stuck forever in this miserable existence without you.” I heard every word he said. It pierced through me, and I knew I would have felt the same way if our places had been reversed. But I told myself that his heartfelt declaration was just a reflection of the tense pressure we’d been under. The little love plant in my heart was grasping at each wispy thought, absorbing his words like sweet drops of morning dew. But I chastised my heart and shoved the tender expressions of affection elsewhere, determined to be unaffected by them. “It’s okay. I’m here. You don’t need to be afraid. I’m still around to help you break the curse,” I said, trying to keep my voice even. He squeezed my waist and whispered softly, “Breaking the curse didn’t matter to me anymore. I thought you were dying.” I swallowed and tried to be flippant. “Well, I didn’t. See? I lived to argue with you another day. Now don’t you wish it had gone the other way?” His arms stiffened and he threatened, “Don’t ever say that, Kells.” After a second of hesitation, I said, “Well, thank you. Thank you for saving me.” He pulled me close, and I allowed myself a minute, just a minute, to lie back against him and enjoy it. I had almost died after all. I deserved some kind of reward for surviving, didn’t I?
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Sooner or later, all talk among foreigners in Pyongyang turns to one imponderable subject. Do the locals really believe what they are told, and do they truly revere Fat Man and Little Boy? I have been a visiting writer in several authoritarian and totalitarian states, and usually the question answers itself. Someone in a café makes an offhand remark. A piece of ironic graffiti is scrawled in the men's room. Some group at the university issues some improvised leaflet. The glacier begins to melt; a joke makes the rounds and the apparently immovable regime suddenly looks vulnerable and absurd. But it's almost impossible to convey the extent to which North Korea just isn't like that. South Koreans who met with long-lost family members after the June rapprochement were thunderstruck at the way their shabby and thin northern relatives extolled Fat Man and Little Boy. Of course, they had been handpicked, but they stuck to their line. There's a possible reason for the existence of this level of denial, which is backed up by an indescribable degree of surveillance and indoctrination. A North Korean citizen who decided that it was all a lie and a waste would have to face the fact that his life had been a lie and a waste also. The scenes of hysterical grief when Fat Man died were not all feigned; there might be a collective nervous breakdown if it was suddenly announced that the Great Leader had been a verbose and arrogant fraud. Picture, if you will, the abrupt deprogramming of more than 20 million Moonies or Jonestowners, who are suddenly informed that it was all a cruel joke and there's no longer anybody to tell them what to do. There wouldn't be enough Kool-Aid to go round. I often wondered how my guides kept straight faces. The streetlights are turned out all over Pyongyang—which is the most favored city in the country—every night. And the most prominent building on the skyline, in a town committed to hysterical architectural excess, is the Ryugyong Hotel. It's 105 floors high, and from a distance looks like a grotesquely enlarged version of the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco (or like a vast and cumbersome missile on a launchpad). The crane at its summit hasn't moved in years; it's a grandiose and incomplete ruin in the making. 'Under construction,' say the guides without a trace of irony. I suppose they just keep two sets of mental books and live with the contradiction for now.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
He cannot do anything deliberate now. The strain of his whole weight on his outstretched arms hurts too much. The pain fills him up, displaces thought, as much for him as it has for everyone else who has ever been stuck to one of these horrible contrivances, or for anyone else who dies in pain from any of the world’s grim arsenal of possibilities. And yet he goes on taking in. It is not what he does, it is what he is. He is all open door: to sorrow, suffering, guilt, despair, horror, everything that cannot be escaped, and he does not even try to escape it, he turns to meet it, and claims it all as his own. This is mine now, he is saying; and he embraces it with all that is left in him, each dark act, each dripping memory, as if it were something precious, as if it were itself the loved child tottering homeward on the road. But there is so much of it. So many injured children; so many locked rooms; so much lonely anger; so many bombs in public places; so much vicious zeal; so many bored teenagers at roadblocks; so many drunk girls at parties someone thought they could have a little fun with; so many jokes that go too far; so much ruining greed; so much sick ingenuity; so much burned skin. The world he claims, claims him. It burns and stings, it splinters and gouges, it locks him round and drags him down… All day long, the next day, the city is quiet. The air above the city lacks the usual thousand little trails of smoke from cookfires. Hymns rise from the temple. Families are indoors. The soldiers are back in barracks. The Chief Priest grows hoarse with singing. The governor plays chess with his secretary and dictates letters. The free bread the temple distributed to the poor has gone stale by midday, but tastes all right dipped in water or broth. Death has interrupted life only as much as it ever does. We die one at a time and disappear, but the life of the living continues. The earth turns. The sun makes its way towards the western horizon no slower or faster than it usually does. Early Sunday morning, one of the friends comes back with rags and a jug of water and a box of the grave spices that are supposed to cut down on the smell. She’s braced for the task. But when she comes to the grave she finds that the linen’s been thrown into the corner and the body is gone. Evidently anonymous burial isn’t quite anonymous enough, after all. She sits outside in the sun. The insects have woken up, here at the edge of the desert, and a bee is nosing about in a lily like silk thinly tucked over itself, but much more perishable. It won’t last long. She takes no notice of the feet that appear at the edge of her vision. That’s enough now, she thinks. That’s more than enough. Don’t be afraid, says Yeshua. Far more can be mended than you know. She is weeping. The executee helps her to stand up.
Francis Spufford (Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense)
Did he say anything to you?” “Just that I was supposed to watch you while he was gone. A hunt can take several days.” “Really? I had no idea it would take that long.” I hestitated, “So…he doesn’t mind you staying here while he’s gone.” “Oh, he minds,” he chuckled, “but he wants to make sure you’re safe. At least he trusts me that much.” “Well, I think he’s mad at both of us right now.” Kishan looked at me curiously with a raised eyebrow. “How so?” “Um…let’s just say we had a misunderstanding.” Kishan’s face turned hard. “Don’t worry, Kelsey. I’m sure that whatever he’s upset about is foolish. He’s very argumentative.” I sighed and shook my head sadly. “No, it’s really all my fault. I’m difficult, a hindrance, and I’m a pain to have around sometimes. He’s probably used to being around sophisticated, more experienced women who are much more…more…well, more than I am.” Kishan quirked an eyebrow. “Ren hasn’t been around any women as far as I know. I must confess that I’m now exceedingly curious as to what your argument was about. Whether you tell me or not, I won’t tolerate any more derogatory comments about yourself. He’s lucky to have you, and he’d better realize it.” He grinned. “Of course, if you did have a falling out, you’re always welcome to stay with me.” “Thanks for the offer, but I don’t really want to live in the jungle.” He laughed. “For you, I would even consider a change of residence. You, my lovely, are a prize worth fighting for.” I laughed and punched him lightly on the arm. “You, sir, are a major flirt. Worth fighting for? I think you two have been tigers for too long. I’m no great beauty, especially when I’m stuck out here in the jungle. I haven’t even picked a college major yet. What have I ever done that would make someone want to fight over me?” Kishan apparently took my rhetorical questions seriously. He reflected for a moment, and then answered, “For one thing, I’ve never met a woman so dedicated to helping others. You put your own life at risk for a person you met only a few weeks ago. You are confident, feisty, intelligent, and full of empathy. I find you charming and, yes, beautiful.” The golden-eyed prince fingered a strand of my hair. I blushed at his assessment, sipped my water, and then said softly, “I don’t like him being angry with me.” Kishan shrugged and dropped his hand, looking slightly annoyed that I’d steered the conversation back to Ren. “Yes. I’ve been on the receiving side of his anger, and I’ve learned not to underestimate his ability to hold a grudge.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Fire, fire! The branches crackle and the night wind of late autumn blows the flame of the bonfire back and forth. The compound is dark; I am alone at the bonfire, and I can bring it still some more carpenters' shavings. The compound here is a privileged one, so privileged that it is almost as if I were out in freedom -- this is an island of paradise; this is the Marfino "sharashka" -- a scientific institute staffed with prisoners -- in its most privileged period. No one is overseeing me, calling me to a cell, chasing me away from the bonfire, and even then it is chilly in the penetrating wind. But she -- who has already been standing in the wind for hours, her arms straight down, her head drooping, weeping, then growing numb and still. And then again she begs piteously "Citizen Chief! Please forgive me! I won't do it again." The wind carries her moan to me, just as if she were moaning next to my ear. The citizen chief at the gatehouse fires up his stove and does not answer. This was the gatehouse of the camp next door to us, from which workers came into our compound to lay water pipes and to repair the old ramshackle seminary building. Across from me, beyond the artfully intertwined, many-stranded barbed-wire barricade and two steps away from the gatehouse, beneath a bright lantern, stood the punished girl, head hanging, the wind tugging at her grey work skirt, her feet growing numb from the cold, a thin scarf over her head. It had been warm during the day, when they had been digging a ditch on our territory. And another girl, slipping down into a ravine, had crawled her way to the Vladykino Highway and escaped. The guard had bungled. And Moscow city buses ran right along the highway. When they caught on, it was too late to catch her. They raised the alarm. A mean, dark major arrived and shouted that if they failed to catch the girl, the entire camp would be deprived of visits and parcels for whole month, because of her escape. And the women brigadiers went into a rage, and they were all shouting, one of them in particular, who kept viciously rolling her eyes: "Oh, I hope they catch her, the bitch! I hope they take scissors and -- clip, clip, clip -- take off all her hair in front of the line-up!" But the girl who was now standing outside the gatehouse in the cold had sighed and said instead: "At least she can have a good time out in freedom for all of us!" The jailer had overheard what she said, and now she was being punished; everyone else had been taken off to the camp, but she had been set outside there to stand "at attention" in front of the gatehouse. This had been at 6 PM, and it was now 11 PM. She tried to shift from one foot to another, but the guard stuck out his head and shouted: "Stand at attention, whore, or else it will be worse for you!" And now she was not moving, only weeping: "Forgive me, Citizen Chief! Let me into the camp, I won't do it any more!" But even in the camp no one was about to say to her: "All right, idiot! Come on it!" The reason they were keeping her out there so long was that the next day was Sunday, and she would not be needed for work. Such a straw-blond, naive, uneducated slip of a girl! She had been imprisoned for some spool of thread. What a dangerous thought you expressed there, little sister! They want to teach you a lesson for the rest of your life! Fire, fire! We fought the war -- and we looked into the bonfires to see what kind of victory it would be. The wind wafted a glowing husk from the bonfire. To that flame and to you, girl, I promise: the whole wide world will read about you.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
The heartwood," Rob murmured, looking at me. "You wanted to marry me in the heart of Major Oak." I beamed at him grateful that he understood. "And Scar," he whispered. I leaned in close. "Are you wearing knives to our wedding?" Nodding, I laughed, telling him, "I was going to get you here one way or another, Hood." He laughed, a bright, merry sound. Standing in the heart of the tree, he reached again for my hand, fingers sliding over mine. Touching his hand, a rope of lightening lashed round my fingers, like it seared us together. Now, and for always. His fingers moved on mine, rubbing over my hand before capturing it tight and turning me to the priest. The priest looked over his shoulder, watching as the sun began to dip. He led us in prayer, he asked me to speak the same words I'd spoken not long past to Gisbourne, but that whole thing felt like a bad dream, like I were waking and it were fading and gone for good. "Lady Scarlet." he asked me with a smile, "known to some as Lady Marian of Huntingdon, will thou have this lord to thy wedded husband, will thou love him and honour him, keep him and obey him, in health and in sickness, as a wife should a husband, forsaking all others on account of him, so long as ye both shall live?" I looked at Robin, tears burning in my eyes. "I will," I promised. "I will, always." Rob's face were beaming back at me, his ocean eyes shimmering bright. The priest smiled. "Robin of Locksley, will thou have this lady to thy wedded wife, will thou love her and honor her, keep her and guard her, in health and in sickness, as a husband should a wife, forsaking all others on account of her, so long as ye both shall live?" the priest asked. "Yes," Rob said. "I will." "You have the rings?" the priest asked Rob. "I do," I told the priest, taking two rings from where Bess had tied them to my dress. I'd sent Godfrey out to buy them at market without Rob knowing. "I knew you weren't planning on this," I told him. Rob just grinned like a fool at me, taking the ring I handed him to put on my finger. Laughs bubbled up inside of me, and I felt like I were smiling so wide something were stuck in my cheeks and holding me open. More shy and proud than I thought I'd be, I said. "I take you as me wedded husband, Robin. And thereto I plight my troth." I pushed the ring onto his finger. He took my half hand in one of his, but the other- holding the ring- went into his pocket. "I may not have known I would marry you today Scar," he said. "But I did know I would marry you." He showed me a ring, a large ruby set in delicate gold. "This," he said to me, "was my mother's. It's the last thing I have of hers, and when I met you and loved you and realized your name was the exact colour of the stone- " He swallowed, and cleared his throat, looking at me with the blue eyes that shot right through me. "This was meant to be Scarlet. I was always meant to love you. To marry you." The priest coughed. "Say the words, my son, and you will marry her." Rob grinned and I laughed, and Rob stepped closer, cradling my hand. "I take you as my wedded wife, Scarlet. And thereto I plight my troth." He slipped the ring on my finger and it fit. "Receive the Holy Spirit," the priest said, and kissed Robin on the cheek. Rob's happy grin turned a touch wolflike as he turned back to me, hauling me against him and angling his mouth over mine. I wrapped my arms around him and my head spun- I couldn't tell if we were spinning, if I were dizzy, if my feet were on the ground anymore at all, but all I knew, all I cared for, were him, his mouth against mine, and letting the moment we became man and wife spin into eternity.
A.C. Gaughen (Lion Heart (Scarlet, #3))