My random assortment of awesome pictures and words.

Madeleine’s Books

List 10 (or more) books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t think too hard. They don’t have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, but they should be ones that have affected you in some way.

1) The Road by Cormac McCarthy—I never knew that books could be so devastating.

2) Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien—If you know me at all, I don’t need to explain this choice.

3) The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner—A narrator who lies to me? And he’s a thief? Yes, please. Brilliant storytelling (check out the entire series) and my favorite book character of all time. It’s not just because he’s a thief.

4) Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien—Wait, animals have feelings too? How am I falling in love with a rat? Also, see Redwall for more animal tales.

5) Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy—My hatred, intense and everlasting, for a character in this novel was like a challenge to write one just as selfish. Challenge accepted.

6) The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle – This was when I realized that I wanted to be writer. Also, my favorite heroine of all time.

7) Unwind/Bruiser (two separate books) by Neal Shusterman—Change one thing, something impossible, and set it loose into the real world. How does that change your perspective about forgiveness, emotional abuse, legal conversations, or self-hatred? Prepare yourself to make social commentary personal with a side of excellent tension.

8) The She by Carol Plum-Ucci—Disorienting and driven by the unexplained, I liked having my beliefs about monsters challenged and then made as irrelevant as the main characters’ by the end. I still don’t know what to believe. Huzzah.

9) Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman—The word “ineffable,” and descriptions as unwanted as an angel seeming “gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide.” Also, who lost the antichrist? I’m so glad they did.

10) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte—Madness and romance should always go together.

11) The Raging Quiet by Sherryl Jordan—The darkness of superstition and judgment is far greater than that of disability or isolation. For the first time I realized that there are some things that can never be communicated, and there are sides that will never see eye to eye.

12) An Acquaintance with Darkness by Ann Rinaldi—History has some pretty great tension when you think about it. Which I hadn’t before this novel.

13) The Squire’s Tale series by Gerald Morris—Hilarity and loveable characters, both of which make me jealous as a writer. Plus it’s Arthurian lore.

14) Howl’s Moving Castle—Because Dianna Wynn Jones.

(By Madeleine Dresden)

(Source: tra-nsparent)

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.

Robert Frost

Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.

—Ellen DeGeneres

I was raised very, very strictly with Christian Science. I didn’t have a shot or an aspirin or anything until I was 13 years old. We had to go to church, do testimonies every Wednesday night. I think all religion is based on what happens after this life. You live a certain way so that when you die, things can be good. But why can’t things be good now? Why can’t you understand that you’re in heaven now? That’s how I live. I believe in God. I think that God is everywhere. Every morning I look outside, and I say, “Hi, God.” Because I think that the trees are God. I think that our whole experience is God.

—Ellen DeGeneres

Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling. This, however, is not generally a part of the domestic apparatus on the premises. I think myself that the thing might be managed with several pails of Aspinall and a broom. Only if one worked in a really sweeping and masterly way, and laid on the color in great washes, it might drip down again on one’s face in floods of rich and mingled color like some strange fairy rain; and that would have its disadvantages. I am afraid it would be necessary to stick to black and white in this form of artistic composition. To that purpose, indeed, the white ceiling would be of the greatest possible use; in fact, it is the only use I think of a white ceiling being put to.

On that very night, the night of the greatest suffering that has ever taken place in the world or that ever will take place, the Savior said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you… Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) I submit to you, that may be one of the Savior’s commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lord’s merciful heart.

It’s like learning to ride a unicorn. You never forget.

(Source: roaring-softly)

(Source: igperish)

Externally, she was a creature of gaiety, given to bursts of enthusiasm, to harmless vanities and constant physical activity. She also experienced chills of embarrassment and self-doubt. But all the time her inner life was burgeoning; beautiful objects made her senses race, and great poetry set her aglow. Almost by the same token, she was overcome at times by the mysterious and dreadful sadness of life. She took nothing calmly.

—R.W.B. Lewis, writing on Edith Wharton