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Daisy Jones & The Six - Taylor Jenkins Reid

This one night we were smoking a joint up on the roof of this apartment over on Santa Monica and Wyatt said, “I love you so much and I don’t understand why you don’t love me.”

I said, “I love you as much as I’m willing to love anybody.” Which was true. I wasn’t really willing to be vulnerable with anybody at that point. I had felt too much vulnerability too young. I didn’t want to do it anymore.

SIMONE: I was the only one encouraging her to make something of herself with her talent. Everybody else just tried to make something of themselves with what she had.

DAISY: I had absolutely no interest in being somebody else’s muse.
I am not a muse.
I am the somebody.
End of fucking story.

BILLY: Karen was just a great musician. That was all there was to it. I always say I don’t care if you’re a man, woman, white, black, gay, straight, or anything in between—if you play well, you play well. Music is a great equalizer in that way.

KAREN: Men often think they deserve a sticker for treating women like people.

Suddenly, there were so many people trying to convince me to do a demo. All these guys wanted to be my manager. But I knew what that meant. L.A. is full of men just waiting for some naïve girl to believe their bullshit.

I didn’t care about anything but songwriting. The singing was okay but I didn’t want to be some puppet up there, singing other people’s words. I wanted to do my own thing. I wanted to sing my own stuff.

I think you have to have faith in people before they earn it. Otherwise it’s not faith, right?

I just knew, at that show, that we had something special. Just knew it.

And it didn’t matter how much of an asshole I thought Billy was. When you can sing like that with someone, there’s a small part of you that feels connected to them. That sort of thing that gets under your skin and doesn’t easily come out.

Billy was like a splinter. That’s exactly what he was like.

I think people that are too similar…they don’t mix well. I used to think soul mates were two of the same. I used to think I was supposed to look for somebody that was just like me.

I don’t believe in soul mates anymore and I’m not looking for anything. But if I did believe in them, I’d believe your soul mate was somebody who had all the things you didn’t, that needed all the things you had. Not somebody who’s suffering from the same stuff you are.

But back then I thought music was just about music.

But music is never about music. If it was, we’d be writing songs about guitars. But we don’t. We write songs about women.

Women will crush you, you know? I suppose everybody hurts everybody, but women always seem to get back up, you ever notice that? Women are always still standing.

Daisy high is fun and carefree and a good time. If she’s having fun, you’re having fun. But if you want to rip people’s hearts out of their chests, bring Daisy back down to earth and have her sing her own songs. There’s nothing like it.

At first, I think you start getting high to dull your emotions, to escape from them. But after a while you realize that the drugs are what are making your life untenable, they are actually what are heightening every emotion you have. It’s making your heartbreak harder, your good times higher. So coming down really does start to feel like rediscovering sanity.

And when you rediscover your sanity, it’s only a matter of time before you start to get an inkling of why you wanted to escape it in the first place.

Passion is…it’s fire. And fire is great, man. But we’re made of water. Water is how we keep living. Water is what we need to survive. My family was my water. I picked water. I’ll pick water every time. And I wanted Daisy to find her water. Because I couldn’t be it.

All I will say is that you show up for your friends on their hardest days. And you hold their hand through the roughest parts. Life is about who is holding your hand and, I think, whose hand you commit to holding.

I can’t think of any two things that make you quite as self-absorbed as addiction and heartbreak. I had a selfish heart. I didn’t care about anyone or anything but my own pain. My own need. My own aching. I’d have made anyone hurt if it could have taken some of mine away. It’s just how sick I was.

A Day of Fallen Night - Samantha Shannon

If she did this, she could be killed. If she failed to do this, there was only sickness and starvation.
I deserve to live.
The thought came like a thunderclap. She had known her worth since the day she was born. Exile had beaten her into the dust, but she would not stay there. Not one day more.
She struck the bell. After centuries of silence, it tolled the night in two.

By the light of the full moon, he beheld them - thrawn and tongue-less, ancient as the isle itself. Thousands, myriad thousands of trees, their trunks hollowed by age: hazel and hornbeam, alder and medlar, wicker elm and rowan and yew, birch and beech and brittle willow, blackthorn and spindle and steadfast oak - but no hawthorns, not for centuries. The Saint had ordered them destroyed to end the old ways of the Inyscans, who had once praised hawthorns as their gods, and worshipped with violence and vice.

Wulf held the candle tight. Its glow haunted his countenance, so the glass reflected it, and his features were cast over the trees, giving them eyes. He looked at the haithwood, and the haithwood looked back. Blind and all-seeing. Soulless and eternal and alive.

And he could have sworn he could hear the witch calling: Come back to me, Child of the Woods. Come home.

'Great one, I have learned that I have another child, my firstborn,' Emperor Jorodu said, 'This is Noziken pa Dumai, Princess of Seiiki, and I wish to know if she is a worthy heir to the Rainbow Throne.'
Dumai shook all over as the dragon lowered her enormous head.
'This one's light, I can see clearly,' Furtia Stormcaller concluded. 'This one holds a woken star.'

'Great one, I am not sure I can leave,' she said. The dragon watched her hands as she signed. 'The imperial house is threatened from within, by the ambitious Clan Kuposa. If I abandon my father, he may lose the throne the great Kwiriki bestowed on our family.'

Thrones and houses do not matter. Your disputes do not matter. If the fire rises, all will burn. Furtia lowered her face, unleashing her cold breath on Dumai. Your ancestor made us a promise. A solemn vow between sea dragon and earth child, struck in the eye of a storm, that they would protect one another, always. A flash of white teeth. Do you mean to break it?

Dumai looked up at her, her heart beating like hailstones. She was a princess, but she was also a godsinger - and here was a god, singing back to her, finally.

'Never,' she said. 'Your will is mine.'

A Deadly Education - Naomi Novik

Some sorcerers get an affinity for weather magic, or transformation spells, or fantastic combat magics like dear Orion. I got an affinity for mass destruction.

You have to ration sympathy and grief in here the way you ration your school supplies.

People seem to have no trouble convincing themselves that I’m dangerous and evil even when they aren’t actively looking for reasons. Of course, I could have killed him just by draining his mana, but I didn’t want to actually become a maleficer and then go bursting out of this place like some monstrous butterfly hatching from a gigantic chrysalis of doom to lay waste and sow sorrow across the world as per the prophecy.

“You know, it’s almost impressive,” he said after a moment, sounding less wobbly. “You’re nearly dead and you’re still the rudest person I’ve ever met."

I don't have a very good idea of how people behave with their friends normally, because I’d never had one before, but on the bright side, Orion hadn’t either, so he didn’t know any more than I did. So for lack of a better idea we just went on being rude to each other, which was easy enough for me, and a refreshing and new experience for him, in both directions: being gracious to the little people had apparently been hammered into him from an early age.

“Just—why? What have I ever done that turns people off?”
I waited for her to say all the usual things: You’re rude, you’re cold, you’re mean, you’re angry, all the things people say to make it my fault, but she looked over at me and frowned like she was really thinking about it, and then she said with decision, “You feel like it’s going to rain.”
But Aadhya was already waving her hands around and elaborating. “You know that feeling when you’re a mile away from anywhere, and you didn’t take your umbrella because it was sunny when you left, and you’re in your good suede boots, and suddenly it gets dark and you can tell it’s about to start pouring buckets, and you’re like Oh great.” She nodded to herself, satisfied with her brilliant analogy. “That’s what it feels like, whenever you show up.”

It’s too easy to call people evil instead of their choices, and that lets people justify making evil choices, because they convince themselves that it’s okay because they’re still good people overall, inside their own heads.

I love having existential crises at bedtime, it’s so restful.

When the enclaves first built the Scholomance, the induction spell didn’t pull in kids from outside the enclaves. The enclavers made it sound like a grand act of generosity when they changed it to bring us all in, but of course it was never that. We’re cannon fodder, and human shields, and useful new blood, and minions, and janitors and maids, and thanks to all the work the losers in here do trying to get into an alliance and an enclave after, the enclave kids get extra sleep and extra food and extra help, more than if it was only them in here. And we all get the illusion of a chance. But the only chance they’re really giving us is the chance to be useful to them.

Doing magic in front of someone who doesn’t believe in it is loads harder. Worse, if their disbelief trumps either your certainty or your mana, and the spell doesn’t come off, you’ll probably have trouble the next time you try and cast it, whether the unbeliever’s still there or not. Do that a few more times and you’ll stop being able to do magic at all. In fact, it’s entirely possible there are loads of unknowing potential wizards out there, people like Luisa who could hold enough mana to cast spells, only they’ve been raised mundane and so they can’t, because they don’t know that magic works, which means it doesn’t.

Even that couldn’t wreck my mood, which had been whipsawing so aggressively lately that I was beginning to feel like a yo-yo. I’d got used to my ordinary level of low-grade bitterness and misery, to putting my head down and soldiering on. Being happy threw me off almost as much as being enraged.

Yes, because just what I wanted was to make a friend of a rich enclave girl so I could routinely rub my face around in all the luxuries I couldn’t have, all of which were in fact quite nice even if they didn’t measure up to the things I’d chosen in their place. And if Chloe Rasmussen turned out to be an actual decent person and a real friend, that would mean the things I didn’t have weren’t necessarily incompatible with the things I really cared about, and how exactly I was meant to put that together without being discontented all the time, I didn’t see, only I was reasonably certain that saying no and on your way now would in fact make me rude and stuck-up after all, just in a quixotic and contrary way.

The Dictionary of Lost Words - Pip Williams

Bondmaid. It came back to me then, and I realised that the words most often used to define us were words that described our function in relation to others. Even the most benign words - maiden, wife, mother - told the world whether we were virgins or not. What was the male equivalent of maiden? I could not think of it. What was the male equivalent of Mrs, of whore, of common scold?

Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Seanan McGuire

They had two daughters: they had two girls to mold into whatever they desired. The thought that they might be harming them by forcing them into narrow ideas of what a girl—of what a person—should be had never crossed their minds.

The moon is the friendliest of the celestial bodies, after all, glowing warm and white and welcoming, like a friend who wants only to know that all of us are safe in our narrow worlds, our narrow yards, our narrow, well-considered lives. The moon worries. We may not know how we know that, but we know it all the same: that the moon watches, and the moon worries, and the moon will always love us, no matter what.

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