Personal Update: Thomas, Revisited

About a month and a half into summer vacation, I still have not published much on this blog. I ask myself why: is it a bad case of writer’s block, or have I lost interest? At first I wondered whether I was just waiting until after I got my license to start anything serious, but even after attaining it after endangering the lives of me and my examiner, here I am writing this post.

At least I've completed my 2014 Goodreads reading challenge. In June. I underestimated the free time I would have this summer...

At least I’ve completed my 2014 Goodreads reading challenge. In June. I underestimated the amount of free time I would have this summer…

This summer I find myself delving into issues I care about, especially eating disorders, body image, and feminism. If you connect with me on Goodreads, you can detect a rise in the amount of nonfiction that has appeared on my shelves over the past few months. Thanks to my mini research project, I am writing both creative fiction and nonfiction centered on eating disorders, though for now I remain uncertain about how much of that writing I can share on this blog. The rest of my free time I spend with family and friends, because this might be my last summer unoccupied by research, studying for the GRE, and grad school applications.

I want to recapture the sense of community I built on WordPress a few years ago. This morning, my reader followed around 200 blogs, but after spending a couple of hours combing through them all, I now follow 55 blogs. I feel like I can dedicate more attention to fewer blogs, and I can spend my time reading and interacting with more of the writers I care about.

Perhaps I just want to post this to let everyone aka my still non-existent reader population that while I may not appear too active, I will always continue this blog, even if periods of silence arise. Staying at home has been tough this summer, but time to relax and reflect on who I am and what I want from life is always appreciated. For now, I will brainstorm future writing topics, and I would love to hear from you guys if you have any ideas.

How I spent the first month of summer: playing the remastered version of Final Fantasy X, aka my favorite video game ever. Productivity at its finest.

How I spent the first month of summer: playing the remastered version of Final Fantasy X, aka my favorite video game ever. Productivity at its finest.

How have you guys been spending your summers? Working? Studying? Chilling? If there are any updates you would like to see on here please let me know, and I hope you all have a fabulous week! (also, if you want to read my thoughts on Point Pleasant by Jen Archer Wood or Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine, you can find them here and here respectively)

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30 Comments

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30 responses to “Personal Update: Thomas, Revisited

  1. Summer in my world is revolving around people graduating, celebrating life events (ie birthdays) and work. Glad you are taking a break from school for the summer, sorry being home isn’t easy. Maybe writing about the differences you experience coming home after being on your ‘own’ for awhile. How are you adjusting. I hope it has changed, some, for the better. I hope you found even more empowerment while at school.

    • That’s true, Colleen, comparing past to present and examining the differences in order to move forward sounds like good writing material. Summer is an interesting time for those graduating and celebrating life events. I have found empowerment, and perhaps that will present a topic for my next post. Thank you for reading and writing!

  2. I’m very impressed with the number of books you’ve read! I’m further than I thought I’d be, too, but I’ve only read 31/50. I’ve been spending my summer reading and applying for jobs. I’ve also been preparing for the July edition of Camp NaNo, during which time I hope to end up with a sharable draft of the story I’ve been working on for six years.

    Also, I was going to add Delusions of Gender to my TBR list, but it turns out it’s already there! I’m definitely looking forward to reading that one, though it will have to wait until I’m allowed to get new books again. πŸ™‚

    • 31/50 is super impressive, you’re past halfway! Reading and applying for jobs both sound productive, and I’m looking forward to reading about your writing during Camp NaNo. I remember last year you shared some thoughts about your writing process on your blog and I always got a kick out of reading those.

      I hope you enjoy Delusions of Gender! It’s a great work of nonfiction that remains pertinent to all in society. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  3. I’ve been bad about blogging ever since I started my new job, but I am trying to get better. My schedule has been kinda funky but it is starting to settle in a break, I just have to set aside time to blog. You’ve been working really hard at school and so deserve a little break. FFX is my hubby’s favorite game too, though I prefer XII.

    • Rachel, congrats again on your new job and I hope you find time in your schedule to blog. XII is such a FF classic, the characters in both FFX and XII are fabulous. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  4. Glad you’re getting through the summer and managing to get relaxation and reading in, plus seeing friends and family (the latter I hope on your terms and safely for you). I will keep subscribed to you in my reader even if you post sporadically (hope you’re still following my book review blog, it won’t always be as post-filled as it has been this last week!).

    I’m spending my summer working as usual – but I’ll be cutting down on the number of direct student customers I accept for Masters proofreading in the late summer. I’ve got novels, non-fiction, transcription for regular journalist clients and other bits and pieces on the go, plus I’m writing up my research results with the aim of putting my conference paper together at the end of August. And planning a new book or two. And spending time with my new husband.

    Luckily, new husband is spending time getting his parents moved up here this summer, so I can get away with doing all of the above to excess when he’s away from the house!

    • Hi Liz, thank you for always following! Of course I keep subscribed to your book blog, and I’m so glad you’ve gotten time to read this summer. It’s good that you have a healthy mix of reading and writing ahead of you – it sounds so productive, enriching, and filled with what you love doing for a living.

  5. I’m impressed by your Goodreads challenge! I enjoyed your review of Delusions of Gender – the book sounds fascinating. I’m glad to hear that you’re reading and writing about issues you care about, it’s sometimes difficult to do that when you’re at school and have so much work to do! Hope you enjoy your summer πŸ™‚

  6. The Howling Fantogs

    I can’t believe you’ve completed your reading challenge already. I’m way behind on mine and my total is far less than yours. Well done.

    • I’m surprised too, though I guess it’s just because I have more free time than I thought and I don’t really have too much of a life at this point, ha ha. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  7. Best wishes to you! You do have a very nice blog. I’m finishing up the last round of summer clinical hours and defending my dissertation. In July, I hope to climb 6 mountains before I go back to work on the 28th. Enjoy yourself and happy writing too. πŸ™‚

    • Ah, good luck with your last round of clinical hours and with defending your dissertation! Is it exciting to see all your work come to fruition? Climbing six mountains sounds like fun as well – strenuous, but fun. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  8. I came home from traveling and immediately started working two jobs. Is it safe to say that my blogging/reading/any form of leisure has been drastically cut? Absolutely. But I’m trying to cherish my time at work so it feels less like WORK so I don’t get stuck in an awful rut.

    • Two jobs sounds like a lot to handle, but glad you’re approaching your work with a positive mindset so you don’t get stuck in a rut. It must be good to have money in an extrinsic sense to help defray college costs, correct? Thank you for reading and commenting!

  9. Yes yes yes to FFX! Devoted at least 70 hours of my summer to noobing it out (#tunaforever).

    I agree with you about home being a tough place. “…time to relax and reflect on who I am and what I want from life is always appreciated”–exactly how I feel this summer too!

    • Team Tuna forever! Such a wonderful game, it has immense replay value and the characters are fabulous and heartbreaking and real.

      Yes, I feel like you definitely relate to how I feel about spending the summer at home. Hope you’re hanging in there and that your reflections are going well – congrats on abolishing Instagram, by the way, and thank you for reading and commenting.

  10. I have spent my summer thus far A) writing stories, B) blogging, C) reading, D) practicing my photography, E) working (blech! But I’m making money for college so I just keep at it), and F) avoiding my 4-H projects. I have eight this year and I really should be working harder at them… πŸ˜›

    • Sounds like a productive and enriching summer! Good luck on your projects that you will ~eventually~ get to, and I’m looking forward to reading your writing and your book reviews if you post them. (: Thanks for reading and commenting!

  11. I know how it is about hardly posting when there’s an abundance of time, albeit a temporary thing. I think that there’s so much you want to write about that your mind can’t decide properly, reminding me of standing in the glorious light of a buffet.

    I am in awe of your reading prowess. Honest to goodness, Thomas. And those non-fics and to top it off that you review every single one? You’re like a reading ninja!

    The most I look forward to this summer is to begin to effectively reform the way I see myself and how I need to be, so I’m my own summer project. Also to meet my own GR and Mad Reviewer Reading Challenge goals (and finally getting around to Clockwork Princess)..

    I know it’s going to be a good one as I’m spending more time with my siblings. I find that I can miss out a lot on their lives if I’m not careful even when we live in close proximity, I can’t imagine a better investment of time.

    Here’s a gem of a quote I fished out of the net:
    β€œThere is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it.”
    ― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

    I’m glad to see you getting things done and I hope you find it a satisfying summer (:

    • Devina, we agree on so many things! I love your analogy with the buffet, because I feel like it applies to writing on multiple levels: sometimes it’s better to have a strong focus on one idea instead of grappling with too many different ones, otherwise we get overwhelmed.

      “Reading ninja” is probably one of the nicest/coolest things anyone has ever called me, and I love how you’re spending the summer reforming the way you see yourself and really dedicating time to yourself. How are your reading challenges going? I hope you enjoy Clockwork Princess, it’s a fantastic finish to a wonderful trilogy.

      I remember you mentioning your siblings in a few posts, it’s good that you’re able to hang out with them this summer and provide a positive influence. I love the quote you include – it makes me want to read The God Delusion. Have you read it?

      Thank you for your comment Devina, I hope you are doing well too!

      • True that. It’s doubly frustrating when all of those ideas end up siphoned off like runoff and then you realize you hit the dreaded block. I haven’t read The God Delusion as yet but I hope to, and I think I’ll reread the first to of the The Mortal Instruments before beginning that one, I forgot too much.
        The reforming thing is an ambitious one but it’s important that I should at least try, some molds are really and truly hard to break.
        As well as I could be at the time being πŸ™‚

  12. Summer makes me a bit of slacker (at least when it’s comes to blogging), maybe it’s the heat or maybe the ice cream melting my brain cells…, so I HEAR YOU πŸ˜€ And I say, just do your thing and blog when you can/feel like to πŸ™‚

    Congrats on completing your reading challenge and good luck with your research/writing!

    • I agree, it’s important to blog for yourself and for your personal enjoyment, otherwise it can stop feeling like fun and start feeling like a chore. Thank you for dropping by and I hope your summer is going well, from your blog it seems like you’re still maintaining a great level of productivity!

  13. Andreas

    Hey Thomas. You know what? Reading your posts has always been a joy. I always learn something new, plus you offer such interesting perspective on your favourite topics. πŸ™‚ Anyway, congratulations on finishing the reading challenge!

    It’s good that you don’t force yourself to write anything, especially when you don’t feel like it. Just wanted to point that out. I do check your blogs occasionally to see if you have published a new entry as I love reading your thought-provoking posts. They do stimulate my brain.

    On a side note, for future writing topics, you could probably write anything related to LGBT or a mix of your favourite issues. Them posts are going to be awesome. I can already tell. And oh! You might want to write a spin-off of QAF. πŸ˜€

    • Can I second that spin-off of QAF? πŸ˜€

    • Aw, Andreas, I love it whenever you comment on one of my posts! I’m so glad you still stop by whenever you have time, and it makes me happy knowing that what I write affects at least one person. I will definitely write a post related to LGBT issues in the future – I’ve been planning one, though your request pushes it to the forefront of my mind.

      Upon your and Cayce’s recommendation, perhaps I will write that QAF spin-off, even though what I produce could never come close to the beauty of the original. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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