After reading the book The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau I have decided to start a quest.  Chris’s quest was visiting every country in the world, which took over 10 years and alot of planning.  What is a quest?  It basically is to search for something or to achieve a goal.  Famous quests include the search for the Holy Grail by King Arthur, Odysseus’s quest in The Odyssey, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Siddhartha’s quest for enlightenment in Herman Hesse’s novel, and Don Quixote’s quest for adventure.

After reading this book, I realized you don’t have to travel the world to have a quest, you don’t have to quit your day job. But, you need a challenge and a goal and it has to resonate with you.

“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” Helen Keller

So, what am I going to do?  I am going to alphabetically read my way across the United States, finding an author in each state to read.  Also I’m going to read a little about each state.  I plan on reading a minimum of one book a month as part of my quest. One of the rules of MY quest, I will not re-read anything I have read in the past ten years.

I have another idea for a quest to pursue beginning in 2015. It involves walking where I live – and I’ll share it later.

So, I’m starting with Alabama. Because of the rules I’ve set, the first book will NOT be To Kill a Mockingbird. (I named a dog Scout and adopted one named Atticus).  However, I did find an essay written by Mark Childress (who is from Monroeville Al. also Harper Lee’s hometown). Because the character Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird is based on Harper Lee’s childhood friend Truman Capote, I’m leaning in this direction. (It won’t be In Cold Blood – I’ve read it in the past 10 years!)

Truman Capote

Truman Capote

So, expect a post in the near future about Sweet Home Alabama!

Have you done a quest or do you plan a quest in the future?  Share it!

“Not all those who wander are lost.” JRR Tolkien

“Everyhing you possess of skill, and wealth, and handicraft, wasn’t it first merely a thought and a quest?” Rumi

“Say it, reader. Say the word ‘ quest’ out loud. It is an extraordinary word, isn’t it? So small and yet so full of wonder, so full of hope.” Kate DiCamillo

“Funny how ‘question’ contains the word ‘quest’ inside it, as though any small question asked is a journey through briars.” Catherynne M. Valente

“Without a quest, there is no epiphany.” Constantine E. Scaros




16 thoughts on “I AM DECLARING A QUEST!

  1. Kelly L McKenzie

    I am blown away. What a wonderful idea. It is manageable yet lofty and interesting. You certainly won’t get bored. I read this clever quote the other day: “When you feel like quitting thing about why you started.” Best of luck on your quest. I look forward to hearing about your sweet home Alabama review.

  2. Christine G.

    Okay – I LOVE this idea and the quotes made my soul tingle when I read them and said the word “Quest!” out loud. I think I need to ponder on what my quest might be….

  3. Harmony Harrison

    I haven’t set out on quests that involve goals, where the results can be enumerated, but I do have what I call my adventures, where I explore as much as I can about a topic, feeling its relevance deep in my body and spirit, and gleaning as much growth from it as I can. I’ve set out on adventures in shamanism, animal communication, horseback riding, jewelry making, painting, digital art, poetry, fiction writing, memoir writing, baking, cooking, nutrition, interior design, teaching, technology, and more. The adventures are always fascinating. The funny thing is, they always result in me eventually returning to my center, grateful for the adventure, but realizing that, in some subtle ways, I had all that learning inside me all along. Still, new adventures await!

  4. vickiemartin Post author

    in my own way – I’ve had lots of quests – they just happened organically. I did belly dancing, learned the tango, walked 60 miles to name a few. I think it moving forward, it is important to name them and acknowledge them! and yes – you had that learning, just like Dorothy had those damn shoes all along!

  5. vickiemartin Post author

    I liked that quote too – I also liked the quest in the word question – never noticed it before!

  6. Susan Michael Barrett

    (I smile doing that little math problem before I begin.)

    Vickie, I love this quest thing and what you’re doing. I want to join you on my own reading quest. And I look forward to seeing the booklist of books read. I’m heading off to like your FB page. Thank you.

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