As we do each year, we have a theme for New Year's. This year, it's our bucket lists. And if you're not much into bucket lists—some people simply hate them—how about a resolution or two??
What is first on your bucket list? Second, third? Do you have a date when you're going to accomplish any of them by?
Daryl aka Avery: My list is small. I've done much of what I want to do in this lifetime. I've traveled. I've jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. I've hitchhiked around Ireland by myself (wouldn't do that again, but wow, was it fun!) I kissed the Blarney Stone. I've taken an American cross-country trip with my son, when he was 12, and we saw Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National
Park. (We stayed at a dude ranch and even had to wait 3 hours for a herd of buffalo to cross the road.) But still on my bucket list…I'd like to see the Grand Canyon. Maybe even ride a burro to the bottom. I'd like to walk on a glacier. I'd like to read all the classics that I should have read back in college (though I read a ton!). I'd like to finish writing a thriller that is dear to my heart (this might be the first of my list I achieve). And I'd like to write a women's fiction book which I would adapt from a screenplay I wrote. There are a few more great golf courses I'd like to play. It's not a "huge" list. All doable, I think. [I gave up long ago believing I could solve world peace.] Oh, yes, I'd like to not lose total control of my senses this year, seeing as I have books coming out in February and March and then another in October!! Yipes!
From Sheila: Will it sound foolish to say I'm living my bucket list? I'm a full-time writer, and people buy my books. Life is good. (Hey, Daryl, I've kissed the Blarney Stone too--has it made us good writers?)
Not that I've run out of things to wish for! Macchu Picchu may be off the list--I don't know if my joints will take it (although my grandmother did make it to the bottom of the Grand Canyon on a burro in her fifties--I have the pictures--so maybe there's hope for me yet). I'm still debating about buying that cottage in Ireland--the place just gets to me, against all reason. I'd love to write a screenplay (or at least sell the option) for Reunion with Death, because it offers a wealth of interesting roles for, uh, mature actors (Meryl Streep, are you listening? Diane Keaton? Glenn Close?) and it has strong elements of women's fiction as well as the murder of someone who deserved to die. (Daryl, we should confer.)
I'd like to find someone who will devote him- or herself for as long as it takes to filing all the stacks of papers I just have to keep, and all the books now stacked in every available corner. I once heard Tess Gerritsen say that she filled a filing cabinet for each book she writes, and I think I'm ahead of that curve--except I don't have the filing cabinets, just the contents. I can dream, can't I?
LUCY BURDETTE: Did you see the movie ABOUT TIME? It's a sweet film based on the premise that the men in the family can time travel. In the end, the main character realizes that if he treasures each moment of his life fully, he will not need the time travel. That attitude isn't exactly a bucket list item, but I'll call it that anyway okay? I'd like to remember to treasure each moment...
PEG COCHRAN: Love what Lucy said! But there still are a few things on my bucket list: a trip to Italy, a chance to go back to some of my favorite places like Paris, London and Hong Kong. Taking a page from Sheila's book, I'd like to rent a cottage/house in Italy, England or France and spend some time living and enjoying the locale. Some day I'd like to try my hand at pate feuillete (puff pastry) and take cooking lessons from a renowned chef. Hubby and I would like a second honeymoon in Bermuda. I hope I will see my granddaughter graduate college. I'd like to try writing a more complex novel--suspense or women's fiction maybe.
Funny, there's still a lot of traveling on my list in spite of my having been lucky enough to travel a lot already! What's on your list?
CLEO COYLE: Peg, that's an exciting list. And I love what Lucy said, too. Very much. This has been a hard year for me. And if any of you out there are feeling the same (actually, a recent poll says a great many of you do feel the same), then you should know that you are not alone. Me? I lost my dad and my husband went through some painful surgery from which he's still recovering.
But I'll tell you what, loss, fear, pain, and setbacks are the stuff of life. Tough times do force us to dig deeper, find a strength from within that we might never have discovered otherwise... When you're knocked down, can you get up again? That's the question at hand. And the answer is my New Year's wish for all of you who did not have the best year ever. May you come up swinging, resolved to rise, survive, and fight (whether it's fighting for your health, your rights, or your own convictions to change your life or the larger world we live in). Take each day as it comes... because one day at a time adds up to...a better week, a better month, and a better New Year.
KRISTA DAVIS: I loathe bucket lists. Don't I sound crabby? It's just that there's something so doomsday about them. Am I the only one who feels that way? Besides, there are far too many things that I plan to do. So I'll stick with the more traditional resolution. It seems like most of my friends don't bother with New Year resolutions, but I've found that spending a few minutes thinking about them is actually good for me.
Last year, I had three main items planned for 2013. A visit to the White House, a new dog, and conquering a website software program. Sequester killed the visit to the White House. You've all seen pictures of Baron who is a joy every day! And that pesky software? Hah! I ditched it altogether and became a beta member of a new software program called EverWeb. Fabulous! Absolutely wonderful. If you're a Mac person and are sad about their decision to discontinue iWeb, you will love EverWeb.
In 2014, it looks like the White House tour is on again! Hurrah! But my big resolution this year is to stop being a hamster in an exercise wheel. It seems like I never catch up. I plan to tackle this by being more organized. Six additional hours in every day would help . . . Since that's not going to happen, I'll probably have to make some other changes. This might be a resolution that evolves with time.
Any suggestions? What works for you?