Challenge Accepted. Let’s read Ulysses…

Right before New Year’s Eve I did what I was supposed to do. I set a bunch of goals for the next year and then more immediate, mini-goals for the next few months, the next few weeks, etc. I did this. Came out with a pretty long list of projects and items regarding my writing and submissions and all that. I then decided that I would up the ante and challenge myself to read 50 books this year. Which is kind of a lot when you’re doing 100 other things but I did it to myself anyway.

Then, and this is where the story finally gets interesting, I wrote a blog post about challenging myself to read more and posted it for all my friends and fans and maybe a stalker or two to see. I figured, what’s a challenge if it isn’t public? And by doing that… I was given another challenge, that I accepted because I am an insane person, by my friend Peter. To actually read Ulysses this year. If you remember I mentioned having just ignored it on my bookshelf for most of college and for the past 4 years of adulthood in another loudmouth blog post I wrote. Don’t you forget anything Peter?!

As I said, Ulysses has been on my shelf for quite sometime. I don’t remember buying it, or stealing it, or borrowing it, or inheriting it. But I am pretty certain I bought it early on in college for one of two reasons. 1) I thought I was smart or 2) I wanted to look smart. Either way, I own it, and I’ve moved it into 3 different apartments and in and out of my dorm room for 3 years. That’s a lot of packing up, carrying, and opening of a pretty large piece of literature. I’ve hauled it around and have never even considered reading it. It’s kind of like when a random corner of your apartment is dusty as hell but you don’t notice until friends come over and point it out.

I had a friend point out my dusty Ulysses. The joy here is that he is joining me in this journey! He’ll probably finish before me, not just because he is intelligent and patient, but also because I’ve decided to turn this into a “thing.” I turn everything into a thing. The thing is this: I’m going to read it but I am going to forcefully take my time. I’ve only been reading bite-sized amounts (5-10 pages) a day and keeping a cute little journal where I write down lovely sentences, questions, and my honest feelings. I have already written “I don’t know what’s going on” three times and I am 45 pages in. The good news is that I am quick to figure it out and then write, “Ohhhh.”

I want this experience to mean something but I also want to try and understand this piece of lit to the best of my tiny brained abilities. So it’s a thing. This also allows me to keep reading other books and not slowing down on the 50 in 2015 thing I signed up for. Jesus, Amanda, stop.

That’s my news! And it wasn’t the about the blizzard so you can thank me. I’ve given you non-blizzard things to think about. Also! You’re welcome to join me on the journey. It’s going to be painful and take me about 6 months to do so I welcome any friends along. We can keep journals together and turn it into an even bigger “thing”.


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