We Heart It
I’m allowing myself some blogging time, because I’ve been enthusiastically working on a book review of Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle, and am at least halfway (if not more) finished. I took a different approach to this review than what I used to do on my old blog. Where I used to just give a summary and opinion on the book I’d read, for this book (and future books to come), I decided to develop an idea into my review – a thesis, if you will. First, I completed the discussion questions in the back of the book to help me develop my ideas, even though I already knew the topic I wanted to write about. This is all part of me taking a step back in order to make my life more literary.
In doing so, though, I realized today that I may need a schedule of sorts to keep myself productive as there are a lot of different writing projects I want to get my hands into: book reviewing, short stories, my pending novel, personal essays, and then literary criticisms if I end up getting into graduate school. Plus, you know, I’d really like to work out. I am so out of shape to the point it’s not funny anymore. I mean, it may be to you, but not to me. I at least need a stretching regimen and some serious willpower to stay away from bad foods and drinks. I totally caved into a Starbucks trip today. And I’ve been doing so good about staying away from work coffee. Actually I read an article once that said coffee (if taken strictly black) can be good for your body, but I tried that once (okay, there was sugar involved) and it still made me cringe as I swallowed.
This afternoon, after I’d gotten off work, I decided to eat my dinner on the couch in front of the living room window without the TV on. Normally, I eat in front of the computer with the TV quietly chirping at my side, but today I wanted to try something different in honor of “taking a step back.” As I munched on a sliced apple (yes, I had an apple and PB&J for dinner…at 4:30 in the afternoon), I gazed out the window and observed life outside my apartment. There is nothing spectacular out there: a liquor store next door, a library across the road (although I couldn’t see it at the angle I was sitting), a highway with nonstop traffic until about midnight. I found my mind lolling off to Hogwarts, specifically life for the witches and wizards during The Half-Blood Prince and practically watching the movie in my mind as best as I could remember the scenes.
Earlier today, as I sat at my station answering discussion questions for Castle and helping customers, I noticed my transaction tape was slipping out of its tight roll. Instead of standing up to roll it back into a neat spiral, I narrowed my eyes and remembered how I used to try to do things with my mind like Matilda when I was little. So, I stayed seated and concentrated on what it would look like for the paper to roll into a tight spiral itself. Could one really make things move with their minds if they thought hard enough about it? As I wondered at the answer, I determined there must be some kind of connection in this revisit to a childhood fascination and my recent fascination with Harry Potter.
It’s interesting the things that crop up in your head when you remove yourself from certain things. I’ve noticed lately the many ways I still feel like a child and hope that I never lose that part of myself. In all my growing up, I still want to be fascinated by things, I still want to cultivate my imagination, and I still want to believe in magic. I want to believe that God created me for something great, even if I don’t know what it is yet. I find myself yearning for it more desperately than before, and that’s where all this talk about a literary life comes from. The stories, the words, the ideas – they astound me in the greatest way. I may not know exactly why I’ve always been so taken with them, but I know they mean something more cosmic than a mere interest, and I will spend the rest of my life finding the pieces to that puzzle.