A Holiday to Recover From My Holiday

My last day of work before Christmas break was December 21st.  I returned January 2.  In between family, friends, and holiday eating I felt like the ‘break’ was really a ‘blink’.  (As in ‘a blink of an eye.)  On Friday most people around the college remarked on feeling tired, while quite a few picked up a flu bug in addition to Christmas presents.    Knock on wood, I don’t get it.  I did yawn all the way from my parents’ place.  I did a couple of preemptive texts before going to bed.  What does encourage me, as I begin a clinic this Monday, is an urgency to get up tomorrow and run.  Remember, run club at the Running Room is 8:30 am on Sundays.

Part of my gung-ho attitude is kicking up my running a notch.  After reading quite a bit about interval training, plus trying it out during my short stint with the personal trainer, I feel ready to hit the track at the Y to push myself as hard as possible.  I also have a reward at the midpoint of my 5 K running.  Last time, in fact during a half-marathon clinic, I ran 10 K and my reward was watching Slither at the movie theatre.  The theatre had me and four guys in it, but I watched Nathan Fillion knowing I accomplished a goal.

Now it’s Jeremy Renner’s turn.

Photo Credit: reelmovienation.com

January 25th Hansel and Gretel:  Witch Hunters opens.  Doesn’t it sound like high-brow fare?  It looks like it has a story, some action, and Jeremy in black leather.  (Hmm…BAMFs in leather….seems to be a predilection.)  The movie opens at around week four of the ten week clinic, I intend to watch it after accomplishing the training for week 5.  Believe me when I say I do have intrinsic motivation most of the time.  Other times I want a little bit of extrinsic motivation.  To each their own.  This is mine.

Goodreads Goal Gets a Start

Well, I’ll be gosh-darned.  I can embed this in an entry and my side bar:

2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Fatima has
read 1 book toward her goal of 43 books.
hide

Picking the right challenge, at the right time, is the secret to doing them.  I acknowledge the tendency to do everything at once.  It’s part of my Gemini nature.  If I will multitask I better do it right.  This year’s reading challenge is to read the equivalent of my age in books.  This year I turn (*gulp*) 43.  I had a number of books in various stages of progress.  I finally picked up one to finish on my way to seeing my parents.  (I have a long bus ride to see them.)  It means the imminent  return of ‘Book Talk’.

In Winnipeg, especially around January/February, it’s still dark.  Either snuggle up to a significant other or a book.  Guess what choice I have in abundance?  It’s why my book titles tend to be on the lighter side as a way to beat back the dark.  I also figure if one needs to write, one needs to read.  I have started to read with an eye towards how an author does plot, character, dialogue, or any other story-related nugget.  I read the low-brow stuff knowing it’s not all great, but the last thing I read built the setting rather well.  In fact one writer, William Faulkner urges writers to not restrict themselves in their reading choices:

“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”

I came across this quote quite a long time ago.  I even read one of his novels entitled As I Lay Dying.   We learn from bad books as well as good ones.  Ever read a bad book all the way to the end?  I disliked Twilight, but it did teach me about character and diction.  It’s alright to write badly, that’s what drafts are for, but the secret is pruning during the whole writing process.  On the other end, reading is a pleasure.  I love it. Enjoy it.  It breaks my heart to see people loathe it or fear it thanks to one (or more) teachers.

I admit my grammar can suck.  Part of the reason, and it surprises quite a few people, is English is not my first language.  I spoke Portuguese growing up.  I went to school in a division without English as a Second Language (now called English as an Additional Language now.)  I had a first grade teacher who didn’t now what to do with me, and held me back.  I still have the report card.  The next first grade teacher, the one who got it, put me back on track.  On top of all this was a belief, a feeling at the time before I put a word to it, that I could do more.  Plus the overwhelming urge to prove Ms. K wrong. However, I worked hard, failed at times, then worked hard some more.

Last year I didn’t accomplish my Goodreads goal or my NaNo goal.  Like any good story the only way to complete it starts with turning a page.

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