18 Things is a book written by Jamie Ayres, to be released on January 24th. In celebration, Jamie is hosting a one-week blogfest in which everyone is encouraged to blog (or otherwise post) their own bucket list of 18 things (or fewer). It seemed like fun, so I decided to join in.
I do have a bucket list, tucked away in my brain somewhere. There are items that have been on it for as long as I can remember, and other things that have been added recently. Occasionally, something gets removed. For whatever reason, I have abandoned some things on the list. It’s never been a long list, so I’m not sure I can make it to 18, but I’ll try.
Firstly, there are the things that have always been on my bucket list:
1) Own an equid. I don’t care if it’s a horse, mule, or donkey (or a zebra, for that matter!), I just want an equid. I can trace my being where I am today all the way back to when I was four years old, and my mother told me about her horse. (Read about that here.) I love the beasts, and I want to own one (and hug it and love it, but not necessarily call it George).
2) Drive a race car. Even though I no longer keep up with NASCAR (mostly because very few of the races are on the non-cable networks anymore), I have always loved racing. I was raised around cars and the smell of garages. There’s a local track here that I can go to and just sit with my eyes closed taking in the sounds and scents. I’ve always wanted the experience of going full-throttle at Daytona. One day I will.
3) Write a book. I mean fiction. Well hey! I need to change this to ‘publish’ a book, because I have actually written a book now. Two, to be exact, with two more in progress. So, OK, publish a book.
4) Get a Ph.D. Oh, wait. I did that. This is an item that was on my life-goals list when I was a kid. Sometimes it’s nice to include things like this to remember your successes, especially when things start feeling overwhelming and impossible. Happily, not only have I gotten my Ph.D., I’ve also managed to earn the respect of my colleagues in my (albeit narrow) areas of specialty. That’s pretty cool.
Now, if this is a proper bucket list, it oughtta have items on it such as things to try (bungee jumping, anyone?) or places to visit (the pyramids, maybe?), but I never seem to think about these things. I’ve gotten to do some pretty amazing things already, and I’m sure I’ll do more (but probably not bungee jumping). I’ve been places where most people will never go and will probably have opportunities to do that again. But there still are a few things:
5) Learn the longsword. I’ve always had a deep and abiding interest in the Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA), and finally decided that I really want to learn how to sword fight like a knight. Only last November, I finally found an instructor who can help me do this.
6) Write a screenplay and have it get optioned. Seriously, how cool would that be? I took a screenwriting class way back in graduate school, and last year I actually wrote a complete screenplay (which now needs to go in the recycle bin so I can start over – my first drafts of anything are always pretty bad!). There’s some big screen writing festivals (like the Great American PitchFest) that I’d like to go to eventually, once I’m convinced I have a ‘optionable’ script.
Geez. 18 things is really hard!
I could, I suppose, add a list of people I’d really like to meet. It would be best, of course, if I had cause to meet them because of who I am, not just because I’m a drooling fan. But I’d accept a random meeting in a hotel lobby.
7) ‘Weird’ Al Yankovic – musician. I’ve always loved his music. As a kid, they were just funny parodies. As an adult, I really appreciate his musical talent and the original songs that he’s written. Seriously any song that can incorporate the phrase ‘Islets of Langerhans’ deserves a Grammy. I listen to Pancreas and Hardware Store whenever my mood needs a boost.
8) James Purefoy – actor. I’ve only recent become a fan (in the last two years). The first time I knew I was watching him in a movie, it was the movie Ironclad, where he played the lead of Thomas Marshal, a Templar Knight. Then I saw him in another movie, and realized I was seeing him everywhere in all manner of roles. He’s an incredible actor, and (or so it seems from anecdotal evidence and various interviews) a genuinely nice, caring human being. The admiration goes a bit deeper, however. Something clicked in me after seeing Ironclad. It reminded me of my wish to learn the longsword and was what motivated me off the couch and into the gym. Since seeing that movie, I’ve dropped on the order of 30 pounds and am easily in the best shape I’ve been in since I graduated high school. I started taking sword lessons (yay!) and started writing my first novel then, too. He doesn’t know it, but his work has been very inspirational to me. I’d like to meet him and thank him.
Well, ten shy of 18. Still, it’ll take some doing to accomplish these things, especially in addition to all the other things I have going on, like maintaining a marriage, keeping a job, and raising a special-needs child. This will work. For now.