Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September 2015 Wrap-Up | I Am a Running, Writing, Apple-Picking Machine



Gorgeous Sunflowers, Catching-Up & Looking Through Photo Albums | I know my aunt reads my blog so I'm just going to go ahead and say, "Hi Ahja." Even though we now live in the same state, it has taken ages for us to finally get together. She arrived with a (quite literal) armful of the most gorgeous sunflowers I have ever seen and her comforting personality I didn't know how much I'd missed. We did a lot of catching up in pertinence to each other's lives as well as looked through old photo albums reminiscing about times past.

Apple Picking | One of my parents have been talking about the "wonderful, life-changing joys of apple picking" since I moved to New York but we never got around to experiencing it as a family until the last weekend in September. My friend Isaac was invited along and it actually ended up being a nice afternoon for the five of us. Of course, Kathleen forgot her phone, so she ended up using mine to take stalker-y photos of the two of us.

School | I'm probably one of the only teenagers to say this but I love high school. The one I attend runs on a block schedule which doesn't work for everybody's style, but I sincerely enjoy it because of the freedom and ability it gives to manage your time. This makes every period of the day 82 minutes - which is terrible for Gym - but I get to absorb my favorite classes for an even longer time and we are extremely productive. I love 8/10 of my teachers and can tolerate the other two. The workload isn't too difficult yet, and overall it's been an absolute blast. Even though I'm taking both French and Spanish, which has definitely been confusing.

Writing My Novel | While I haven't tweeted the official #NaNoWriMo declaration of my participation - I should really get on that and stop procrastinating, anyone who follows me on Twitter (@sslluvsbooks) most certainly has seen my constant barrage of #NaNoPrep. I have a pretty solid outline for at least half of my story and I am genuinely ecstatic for it to begin - even though I still have a lot to do in order to submit material for my Creative Writing portfolio. I'm also planning on making an #AmWriting update video to discuss my works in progress as well as how my writing life has evolved in the past few months, especially since I haven't attended writing class in weeks because of scheduling conflicts.

Invitationals, Dual Meets & Pasta Parties | I mentioned going to an intensive running camp as well as the Cross Country season starting in last month's wrap-up and the adventure has only gone up from here. We've had a total of five meets thus far - either invitationals or league and I've already run a PR for the season which I am extremely proud of. I'm planning on making an entire video about how life changing the experience has been but for now I'm just going to say that I'm in the best shape I've been in my entire life both mentally and physically. My team feels like a second family and we've been through a lot together - hill repeats, long runs, early makeup-less mornings, and post race hugs.


NaNoPrep | As an elective, I'm taking Creative Writing (surprise, surprise) and the huge assignment of each marking period is to turn in a portfolio and I'm planning on submitting a few poems here and there as well as the first few solid chapter of my NaNoWriMo novel in anticipation of it surpassing 50,000 words. Nevertheless, it's going to be a mad dash for 31 days until the great even begins.

Running a Half Marathon | I plan to run my first half marathon in October and I am absolutely psyched. I've been doing so well endurance / speed wise in cross country as well as snuck in a few long runs so I anticipate a pretty good time. Nevertheless, it's the accomplishment that's important so I can go around telling people I'm a half marathon-er. Apparently it's a really run, generally flat course and I'm ready for it - even though I have a meet three days after, that's going to be interesting.

Autumn | It's been unseasonably warm in Syracuse as of late, but the autumnal skies did seem to arrive overnight - maybe the weather can take a hint and follow suit. I'm dying for a pumpkin spice latte, cozy sweaters, and fall foliage.

[to come]




I've been listening to Shawn Mendes' recent album all month as well, but the collaboration between Hailee Seinfeld and himself really took the cake.

I've been obsessed with Hailee Steinfeld since I discovered we share the same birthday and have watched her in several movies like Ender's Game and Pitch Perfect 2. While I'm not in love with the original version of this single, I love its message and when it's stripped down, I quite enjoy it.

I stumbled across this song on an alternative station and have loved it ever since.

I've been listening to Alexi Blue's covers since the day she posted her first one on YouTube and she has come a long way since then. This is her new original single completely unlike anything else she's released before.

Jana Kramer's "I Got the Boy" has been on a nearly constant cycle since I discovered it last July and "Circles" has a similar ring and relatability to it.

I'm not sure we need any explanation whatsoever for this song, I'm the biggest Nashville fan in the bookish community and the Stella sisters are one of the best parts of the show, of course I'm going to listen to their new single constantly.

(in theory, there should be fewer, but there were just SO MANY good ones, cut me some slack)

“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.” 

I am quite serious about wanting this as my Senior Quote as I don't think I've ever read anything more relevant in terms of where I am in my life.

“The consequence of this is that I'm always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both."

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn't already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.” 

Obviously The Book Thief has been showered with praise for many years at this point, but the concept of the Death as a narrator was astoundingly executed and this quote truly expresses the respect and admiration he had for Liesel and humanity.

--- The Book Thief : Marcus Zusak

“You're the most important thing in this universe. You; this vessel; the people of this planet; lovers, warriors, artists, leaders, dreams more numerous than stars. Each mind unique, each thought created for an instant and then broken apart to form new ones. You don't understand the unbearable beauty of being you.” 

While I most certainly had my share of issues with the story itself, this quote puts things into perspective from the omniscient narrator in a way similar to Death.

--- This Shattered World : Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

“Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky." 

Anyone who has ever had a before / after stage of their life can definitely relate to this quote as it's about letting go but being appreciate of the time had.

--- The Wrath and the Dawn : Renee Adieh

What is your favorite part of Autumn?

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