She blinked, sat up, and saw Chris in the bathroom doorway. He'd just gotten out the shower. His hair was damp, and he was dressed only in his briefs. The sight of his thin, boyish body - all ribs and elbows and knees - pulled at her heart, for he looked so innocent and vulnerable. He was so small and fragile that she wondered how she could ever protect him, and renewed fear rose in her.
It is human nature to want to believe in the wizardry of the magician--but also to turn against him and to scorn him the moment that he commits the slightest error that reveals his trickery. Those in the audience are embarrassed to have been so easily astonished, and they blame the performer for their gullibility.
Appearances are not reality; but they often can be a convincing alternative to it. You can control appearances most of the time, but facts are what they are. When the facts are too sharp, you can craft a cheerful version of the situation and cover the facts the way that you can covered a battered old four-slice toaster with a knitted cozy featuring images of kittens.
No matter how close we are to another person, few human relationships are as free from strife, disagreement, and frustration as is the relationship you have with a good dog. Few human beings give of themselves to another as a dog gives of itself. I also suspect that we cherish dogs because their unblemished souls make us wish - consciously or unconsciously - that we were as innocent as they are, and make us yearn for a place where innocence is universal and where the meanness, the betrayals, and the cruelties of this world are unknown.
Little mouse, you were so quick, so bright, so sweet, so full of life. And you still are everything you were then. None of it’s lost forever. All that promise, all that hope, that love and goodness—it’s still inside you. No one can take the gifts God gave you. Only you.
Do as little harm to others as you can; make any sacrifice for your true friends; be responsible for yourself and ask nothing of others; and grab all the fun you can. Don't give much thought to yesterday, don't worry about tomorrow, live in the moment, and trust that your existence has meaning even when the world seems to be all blind chance and chaos. When life lands a hammer blow in your face, do your best to respond to the hammer as if it had been a cream pie.
Much of her life had been lived like a balancing act on a spearpoint fence, and on a particularly difficult night when she was twelve, she had decided that instinct was, in fact, the quiet voice of God. Prayers did receive replies, but you had to listen closely and believe in the answer. At twelve, she wrote in her diary: "God doesn't shout; He whispers, and in the whisper is the way.
Each smallest act of kindness, reverberates across great distances and spans of time --affecting lives unknown to the one who’s generous spirit, was the source of this good echo. Because kindness is passed on and grows each time it’s passed until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage, years later, and far away. Likewise, each small meanness, each expression of hatred, each act of evil.
I can remember the times when I started including humor in novels that were suspenseful. I was told you can't do that because you can't keep the audience in suspense if they're laughing. My attitude was, if the character has a sense of humor, then that makes the character more real because that's how we deal with the vicissitudes of life, we deal with it through humor.
Eventually, as my books became best-sellers, the nickels pile up and one day I was offered a substantial four-book deal that was lucrative as any airliner hijacking in history. Though writing those four books was hard work, at least I didn't have to wear Kevlar body armor, carry heavy bandoliers of spare ammunition, or work with associates named Mad Dog.