What is it you want to do? And where do you get your inspiration from? I obviously have a passion for chess, and I remember seeing a program on TV in the 1970's called The Master Game which inspired me to carry on with the game through my teenage years. Yesterday I was also playing chess, but inspiration came from a different event. Yesterday the Melbourne Marathon was being held. Nearly 7000 people participated with the best runners producing world class results. It has been a while since I last ran, but I took inspiration from yesterday and went for a brief jog today after work. It was hard work, as I knew it would be, but I enjoyed it immensely, and plan to carry on with running in my own modest way.
Setting goals and then making plans is always a good way to achieve results. I have set myself 2 targets. One is simply to lose the weight that I gained on holiday in America, and since getting back when I did very little. This is about 3 kilo's, though the more the merrier. The other is to run a half marathon, and I've set myself the target of running the Great Ocean Road Half Marathon which is held in May. That gives me 7 months to build up to the 21 km distance and I currently feel pumped up to take it on, even if I am a little puffed after my 5 km run earlier.
I also read a fair amount of fiction and am inspired to read new authors and new titles. Joining the online site Goodreads was great for building up ideas, and I must admit that I've read novels this year that I wouldn't have done if not being a member of a book club on Goodreads. If talking about books with other book lovers, comparing ideas and critically discussing books isn't inspiration enough, tomorrow sees the 2013 Man Booker Prize winner announced. While I'm not usually swayed by what awards novels and their authors may have won I must admit that I've hardly ever read a novel shortlisted for the Booker Prize that I haven't enjoyed. Kazuo Ishiguro's Booker Prize winning "The Remains of the Day" is still my favourite novel, and I'm currently reading "The Yips" by Nicola Barker which segues between acerbic dialogue, strange encounters, and some of the most beautifully written descriptions I've ever read. In fact, earlier today I was stunned by the power of feeling that a particular passage evoked. And this novel wasn't even shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2012. In fact neither was "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" by Rachel Joyce which is probably the best novel I've read this year so far.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a literary snob who only reads award winning high literature. I'm happy to read novels from almost any genre: historical, comedy, sci-fi, fantasy, detective, thriller etc. In fact, labeling novels under certain categories can sometimes be a little misleading. I guess a good example of this is the rise in stature of books labeled 'Young Adult'. This covers a massive range of books, spanning all kinds of subjects and genre. Earlier this evening on Twitter, I discovered that one of my favourite authors, Joanne Harris was labeled as 'Chick-lit'. Before seeing her tweet I never even knew there was a chick-lit genre, let alone what it entailed. Joanne Harris' reply to this categorisation has been my final inspiration for this evening. Don't just sit there and take the crap that people give you.
Sorry, did I say my final inspiration? I just found out it's National Chocolate Week in the UK. As an expat I feel it would be remiss of me not to participate. Unfortunately, I was unaware of International Chocolate Day which was on September 13th, but it's in my diary for 2014 and next September 13th will be eatchocolatetillimsickday!