I'd like to have James Brown as my singer. I already have the best drummer, Tommy Clufetos. I've jammed a bunch with John Entwistle, and it was like a musical orgy. That guy is a living, breathing, grunting rhythm. For horns, let's go with the Stax/Volt guys, and I'm going to have Steve Cropper on standby just in case I want a rhythm guitarist.
Sorrow comes with so many defense mechanisms. You have your shock, your denial, your getting wasted, your cracking jokes, and your religion. You also have the old standby catchall-the blind belief in fate, the whole "things happening for a reason" drill. But my personal favorite defense has always been anger, with its trusty offshoots of self-righteous indignation, bitterness, and resentment.
Given my swimmingly fetching cultural milieu, getting used to this bleeding business took quite a while. In the meantime, I fervently asked people why the hell this happened to us girls. Various sources consistently informed me that it was (big sigh) 'just part of being a woman' (big sigh), or the good ol' standby curse we inherited from Eve.
It was the job of people like me to make up reasons, to spin a plausible yarn. And it's amazing what people will believe. Heavy selling out of the Middle East was an old standby. Since no one ever had any clue what the Arabs were doing with their money or why, no story involving Arabs could ever be refuted. So if you didn't know why the dollar was falling, you shouted out something about Arabs.
"What is honor?" "Honor is what no man can give ya. And none can take away. Honor is man's gift to himself." "Do women have it?" "Women have a heart of honor, and we cherish and protect it in 'em. We must never mistreat a woman or malign a man, or standby and see another do so." "How do you know you have it?" "Never worry on the gift of it. It grows in ya' and speaks to ya'. All ya' need do is listen"....
Rob Roy MacGregor
Here's what I want from a book, what I demand, what I pray for when I take up a novel and begin to read the first sentence: I want everything and nothing less, the full measure of a writer's heart. I want a novel so poetic that I do not have to turn to the standby anthologies of poetry to satisfy that itch for music, for perfection and economy of phrasing, for exactness of tone. Then, too, I want a book so filled with story and character that I read page after page without thinking of food or drink because a writer has possessed me, crazed with an unappeasable thirst to know what happens next.
It is the mind's job to protect and take care of you, to solve your problems and make sure you're safe. So, if you feel a surge of emotional upset, it moves into action, trying to help, looking for the source of the upset-for the problems-and generating solutions. Under these conditions, the key to getting the mind to go on standby-to stilling the mind's compulsive thinking-lies in recognizing, accepting, and working with the emotional upset. Once you address the emotional undercurrent, once it is no longer churning inside you, the mind can switch off and quite literally leave you in peace.
Sharon Rose Summers
Imagine you are Siri Keeton: You wake in an agony of resurrection, gasping after a record-shattering bout of sleep apnea spanning one hundred forty days. You can feel your blood, syrupy with dobutamine and leuenkephalin, forcing its way through arteries shriveled by months on standby. The body inflates in painful increments: blood vessels dilate; flesh peels apart from flesh; ribs crack in your ears with sudden unaccustomed flexion. Your joints have seized up through disuse. You're a stick-man, frozen in some perverse rigor vitae. You'd scream if you had the breath. Vampires did this all the time, you remember. It was normal for them, it was their own unique take on resource conservation. They could have taught your kind a few things about restraint, if that absurd aversion to right-angles hadn't done them in at the dawn of civilization. Maybe they still can. They're back now, after all- raised from the grave with the voodoo of paleogenetics, stitched together from junk genes and fossil marrow steeped in the blood of sociopaths and high-functioning autistics. One of them commands this very mission. A handful of his genes live on in your own body so it too can rise from the dead, here at the edge of interstellar space. Nobody gets past Jupiter without becoming part vampire.