Re-reading Robert E. Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power

An emotional response to a situation is the single greatest barrier to power, a mistake that will cost you a lot more than any temporary satisfaction you might gain by expressing your feelings. — Robert Greene


Plus, from one of her old journals:

  • Today I had a massage . . . lol

Written, of course, in Bacolod. In Bacolod, self was always so mellow. She was never angry. A one-hour massage averaged 500 pesos, about $9. She had daily massage, over there. Heck, she could even have had two massages daily, if she felt like it. All the masahistas had strong, unerring hands. They seemed to know by instinct. Only once did self ever have a bad message in Bacolod: the woman just moved her hands skimmingly over the skin, didn’t really knead it. Ugh, self felt she’d spent a full hour just being tickled.

One night, during a massage, self kept hearing the distant, popping sounds of what she thought were gunshots. It made her so uneasy. The masahista said it was Firecrackers. Oh, it was New Year’s Eve? It had completely slipped self’s mind.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sage Thoughts From Master Shih Cheng-Yen

  • Do not rely on power.
  • Do not rely on social status.
  • Do not rely on wealth.

 

The Delights of Beginning a new du Maurier

The seven-year-old’s guardian has taken him to gawk at the body of a hanged man. It’s been four weeks, self can only imagine the smell.

She’s still only on p. 1 of My Cousin Rachel:

“There you are, Philip,” he said. “It’s what we all come to in the end. Some upon a battlefield, some in bed, others according to their destiny. There’s no escape. You can’t learn the lesson too young. But this is how a felon dies.”

OUTSTANDING.

Kudos, Daphne du Maurier. So many kudos.

Stay tuned.

Essay # 3: Would Everybody Please Stop?

Dear Answer Lady: Before he slammed the door and moved out last month, my husband spent a year looking at me darkly and saying things like, “What have you done with the spoons?” Do you think he has a girlfriend?

I do.

The Fortress: Reading The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene

  • Do not build fortresses to protect yourself. Isolation is dangerous.

— Law # 18 of The 48 Laws of Power

 

Sentence of the Day: from “How To Tell a True War Story”

  • If a story seems moral, do not believe it.

The Guardian’s 100 Best Nonfiction Books of All Time

There is very little overlap been self’s reading list and the 100 Best Nonfiction Books of All Time by The Guardian.

Below, books on The Guardian’s list that self has read:

2. The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion

5. Dreams From My Father, by Barack Obama

9. Dispatches, by Michael Herr

15. The Double Helix, by James D. Watson

20. Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson

23. The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and EB White

33. The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child-care, by Dr. Benjamin Spock

42. Testament of Youth, by Vera Brittain (for a course on the Literature of World War I, taught by Prof. Albert Guerard at Stanford)

44. Goodbye to All That, by Robert Graves (for a course on the Literature of World War I, taught by Prof. Albert Guerard at Stanford)

65. Roget’s Thesaurus

83. A History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon

92. The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys, via Claire Tomalin’s excellent biography of Pepys’ life

Fourth From the Annaghmakerrig Book: Vona Groarke

DSCN1292

Excerpt from Maize, by Vona Groarke:

The Faber Castells ripen in your hand.
You’ve been drawing since breakfast:
sky after sky, face after face, but something
in yours says they’re not quite right.

Quote of the Day: Richard Brautigan

Karma Repair Kit: Items 1 – 4

  1. Get enough food to eat, and eat it.
  2. Find a place to sleep where it is quiet, and sleep there.
  3. Reduce intellectual activity and emotional noise until you arrive at the silence of yourself.
  4.  

 

 

 

Ursula K. Le Guin on Writing

The sound of the language is where it all begins. The test of a sentence is, Does it sound right? The basic elements of language are physical: the noise words make, the sounds and silences that make the rhythms marking their relationships. Both the meaning and the beauty of the writing depend on these sounds and rhythms. This is just as true of prose as it is of poetry, though the sound effects of prose are usually subtle and always irregular.

— from Steering the Craft: A 21st-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story, by Ursula K. Le Guin

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