Settling Back into Reality

I think everyone can agree that after we take vacations we all find ourselves saying, “Man I need a vacation to recover from my vacation.” At least I am constantly saying that no matter what my actual vacation entailed; whether it was active and exhausting (but also fun) or I did nothing but relax and laze around. And is it ever more true now that I’ve taken a whole month of small vacations during the month of August and have to jump right back into real life; take for example the plan I had to use Labor day as a day to regroup and maybe even get a new post up but that definitely lost out to sleeping in and laying on my couch. Not to mention I appear to have this weird cloud of exhaustion just hanging around me that won’t go away. It’s really hard to just jump back in when I can’t get it to shake, I always have been a sucker for the laziness.

But I have plans for the next few months and there is no way I am going to accomplish any of them if I give in fully and let that dictate my life. So this post is the start (of something new? Sorry I had to. I just watched HSM the other day and I am still singing all the songs to myself) of those plans. Fall is just around that corner and not only is it probably my favorite season it is also jam-packed with things to keep me busy and focused. Which is why I outline those things in a public format so that I can easily come back to them and be held accountable for the things I say I am going to do.

Reading is at the top of that list. I’ve not read a book since middle of July before I left for Florida and that makes me super sad. I’ve of course done some fanfic reading here and there but there is just nothing like hunkering down with a book and digging in for an extended period of time. Being at LeakyCon I was introduced to a ton of authors and books I now want to read, I’ve added Stephanie Perkins three (Lola, Anna, & Isla) to my list as well as Gayle Forman’s ‘If I Stay, and the sequel.

Which side note saw the movie last weekend and oh my god! I knew it was going to be sad but I was not ready to cry that much! I mean damn. But it makes me more hyped to finally read it because the books are 99.9% of the time better.

Then there are authors like Lev Grossman I’ve been told I’d like so I need to do some research on him and his stuff. I’d also like to read more by Laurie Halse Anderson because I liked what I read for the Tumblr Reblog Book Club and I’ve heard amazing things about her novel ‘Speak’ and she herself was adorable at LeakyCon so I just want to explore her works more. A few other authors caught my eye but I need to do more research on their stuff but I figure if they were at LeakyCon I am likely to enjoy their stuff so they will make their way onto my ‘To Read’ list eventually.

I’ve also decided, by persuasion of Kinsey, to read the Divergent series. I’ve always sorta wondered about it when it started to get bigger and bigger buzz but just wasn’t sure if I was ready for another YA dystopian series just yet. However Kinsey and I watched the first movie and my dislike for Shailene Woodley aside it was pretty interesting. Something I could see myself liking in a book form because it is going to have more detail and information than they could fit in the movie. So that series has been added to and hopefully I’ll get to it before the second movie comes out.

However all of that takes a backseat to my plan to re-read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I know Ayn Rand is a bit of a polarizing figure and that saying you enjoy or have read some of her stuff can create this judgement of you by others, but I never knew any of that when I first read this book. I was fourteen when I saw an episode of Gilmore Girls where Rory made a joke, “My mother the Howard Roark of Stars Hallow.” and for some reason it stuck with me and I looked into the reference. I had asked my mom what she knew about The Fountainhead and all she said was that it was the book the mom from Dirty Dancing (Kelly Bishop, also from Gilmore Girls funnily enough) disapproved of and that it was probably to “adult” for a fourteen year old.

Well that stopped me none. So I checked it out of the library, sorta got wide-eyed at the size when I first pulled it down, and got to work. At the time for school any book we read counted for a point system in our English class and when I presented it to my teacher she was impressed and said if I could make it through it then good for me. I did and while now it’s hard to recall my exact thoughts on it I do know it was a book that forever changed me. There was something about the story and the characters that was different from anything I had ever read before. I could see myself examining the book and its events in a different light than I had anything before. I don’t recall it being scandalous or very “adult” like I’d been warned but I didn’t care about that.

And obviously as I got older and more into literature Ayn Rand’s name and her beliefs were brought up more and more. As I looked into the things she stood for and believed I can’t say I argue what a sticky topic of discussion she has become. I also don’t agree with or take much stock in her philosophies like Objectivism. I simply read a book to understand a pop culture reference and ended up experiencing something that left a mark on me. I know people judge me when I say that The Fountainhead is a favorite book of mine or that it left an impact on me but I don’t have the time to care. Personally I think you can read a work and not have to agree, believe, or even understand the author’s way of life, not to advocate being completely ignorant to things but it’s possible to still enjoy things without having to know every detail outside the pages and story.

That all being said I decided that since its been 10 years since I first read the book I wanted to go back and re-read. To see if at 24 it will have a similar feeling on me as it did then, especially considering then I knew far less than I do now and it should be interesting to see how my mind approaches the text now. It’s nothing if not a personal journey just to see how I’ve grown in the last ten years. I hope to get through the book by the end of September but given it’s size who knows, and when I’m done I’ll maybe post something about it. Anyways, those are the plans as far as reading goes over the next few months.

Another big thing coming up is writing. I’ve been so neglectful of it lately I am pretty embarrassed. I had plans to do some while on this last vacation but like I said I am too easily persuaded by a comfy couch and internet access to just indulge in the lazy. But with NaNoWriMo not all that far away I need to get myself (and by virtue any of you that read my blog too) ready for that roller coaster.  I’ve not pinned down a concept or plot for a project to work on during that month; I’ve been going back and forth between a couple so hopefully by November 1st I’ll have made up my mind. But on top of that I plan to do ‘Prompt-tober’ again where I write a little each day and also open up suggestions to anyone who cares to give me one. I’ll make a separate post about that later on but just know I’ll be asking your help and leaning on you to make sure I stay focused!

Naturally I’ll have more donations coming up, those will be a constant until March since I have quiet a few left to do. I am thinking a new one will happen next week possibly if not earlier. Otherwise the rest is just surviving and getting back into a routine, cutting way back on all the caffeine I abused in August, and still trying to figure out what the next step in life is going to be. It’s cliché  to say but this year has flown by and I have no idea how it is already September. I can’t complain about the year thus far either, even if somethings have sucked and not gone the way I wished they had. I look forward to fall as I always do and to making the best of the remainder of the year.

You all will hear from me soon enough, and probably not long enough to have gotten over the lengthy post this as turned out to be. Regardless have a wonderful start to September and talk at you soon!

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