Topic: If you have (or even if you don't have) a bucket list, what top priority thing(s) do you want to accomplish?
Ahahaha, okay. If you had asked me this when I was eight, it would’ve been a way cooler list. It would’ve had things like “dig up a plesiosaur,” and “be an astronaut,” and “go to culinary school,” and “be a nature photographer.” For the biggest while, I really wanted to work for National Geographic. Alright who am I kidding. If NG called me up and said, “Get your camera and take the next flight out to the Amazon, we need some pics of the Kuarup festival,” there would be a puff of air and I’d be gone. But no such call has happened, and my brilliant explorer plans have been clinched and bound a bit by people telling me to “go to college,” and this weird insistence that I’ll have to pay things called “taxes” soon, but don’t worry, I’m still a nonconventional dreamer, I swear! Pinky promise. Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.
I actually had to think about this long and hard because I haven’t thought that far into the future yet. I’m just trying to survive this week in college, and my study abroad applications, and my scholarship apps, and trying to get more stories published, and planning where I’m gonna grab a really ace internship. To be honest, the future is a wonderful but unsteadily nervous-making place. But I scrambled up a list of top 10 things I’d love to do before I die.
1. Publish a book in print. Okay, I do have a story published; a novella called The Christmas Lights and I cried when I got a contract from Quebec’s MuseItUp Publishing and I adore it and I have marvelous cover art, and people have left comments on Amazon and Barnes and Noble that made my heart swell. But, also, some people were beyond not-impressed because it’s a novella, so it’s only in e-book form. So publishing a book in print will not only send me through the roof because (1) AGH, I can touch it and hold it in my hands and put it on a shelf and read something that started in my head on crisp paper, but I can also (2) show it to these people while mentally screaming, “AM I GOOD ENOUGH NOW?”
2. Have a book launch party. Books again, sorry. I’m a writer though. You are on my writing blog. You really shouldn’t be surprised. I had a dream about this, once. Before I got published, I would daydream about acknowledgements pages and stuff. Nerdy, right? NO. DO YOU KNOW HOW AMAZING IT IS TO BE ABLE TO THANK THE PEOPLE WHO’VE HELPED YOU PUT A STORY INTO PRINT? HOW FREAKING DIFFICULT THAT IS? Anyway, I’ve gotten to write acknowledgement pages and have cover art *swoon* (Carolina Bensler is my homegirl, please check out her amazing manips because she is a Spanish-speaking sweetheart and skilled with Photoshop, I tell you), but I had this dream when I was 15 or 16 about being on the top floor of a skyscraper in some city, and everything was draped in red like the Chinese New Year, and my book was set up on stands on this table and everybody was dressed in sparkly songstress dresses like we were having some Gatsby party. There was music and food and champagne and it was just this big fun soirée. I understand that will probably only happen if by the grace of God I somehow write something that becomes a bestseller, and I would definitely settle for a blaring radio, some good friends, and a box of pizza, but the point is I want to celebrate in person with friends who’ve slogged through the process with me and to feel the unity and celebration of finally making it happen.
3. Send my parents on a freakin’ honeymoon. I’m not 100% sure what went down, but some shady family interruption made it so my mom and dad couldn’t go on their honeymoon and that really bothers me. The honeymoon is, like, the really fun part of getting married. You just vowed to love someone forever, and whoosh—you run off somewhere really fun and romantic and hang out and love each other and do whatever you want. Rose petals. Beaches. My parents didn’t get to have that, and then they had three really weird daughters and barely have any time to themselves, and they’re beyond wonderful people and I know they probably don’t even think about their honeymoon anymore, but one day I want to stop buy and just slap them in the chest with a check or a roll of bills. Bills would be way more fun. I would slap it in their hands and make them take it and say, “Go somewhere nice, you crazy kids.” And they would say, “Oh my gosh that’s so much money,” and I would force them to spend it all on themselves and they would go off and have a good time and my soul would be happy.
4. Visit the Louvre. I’m an art freak, beware. I don’t care if the Mona Lisa is actually small and unimpressive and behind a wall of glass, I WANNA SEE IT. Also, the Louvre is in Paris which means the Eiffel Tower and artist stalls and pretty food and someone sure as heck better be playing an accordion as I’m walking around otherwise my life is a lie.
5. Visit an Irish pub and listen to their intoxicating, foot stomping music and order a foamy beer on tap even if it tastes gross.
6. Sing in a beautiful cathedral, like, one with high Gothic ceilings and ribbed vaults and stained glass, with candles in the corners and everyone’s voices echoing all heavenly-like. I don’t know. It would just be a really awesome experience.
7. Go to Carnival in Venice! Go big or go home; I want to wear a mask and an old fashioned dress and wander the canals at night and ride in a gondola and hear people singing Italian.
8. Swim with a dolphin. Do I need to explain this?
9. Attend a front row concert. Oooohhhh I’m so shameful, and right now I’m saving money for study abroad but there are Platinum seats for the this concert in the city only an hour away from my hometown, which means EYE CONTACT and ACTUALLY BEING ABLE TO SEE, but the stars are not in position and my lord is it painful.
10. See GREAT Shakespeare. I recently watched Shakespeare in Love and fell, uh, in love. It was SO GOOD. Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes were SO CUTE, and spoke Shakespeare like ACTUAL DIALOGUE. You know how onstage, people always “act” Shakespeare? Like, you HAVE to pause after each line of prose? Well in the movie they spoke the lines like actual people, and it was beautiful, and I cried. So if I could see live Shakespeare and it was really great, uh, yeah. That would be fantastic.
So here's the tables turned, comrades: what do YOU want to do before you die? :)