Bucket List

When I was younger (probably 17-18 or so), I wrote up a list of things I wanted to do in my life. That list, unfortunately, has been lost – along with any and all the endless amounts of notebooks I’ve had throughout the years. Shame. It’s an even bigger shame that I can’t remember the things on the list. Not really.

There were probably things like, Get a tattoo, or Travel to [some unknown place]. I’m sure it’s baffling to at least one person out there that I can’t even remember where I wanted to travel to seven or eight years ago. I can say that it likely included destinations where my friends were located then (as I used to have a LOT of friends scattered across the country, and still have a few of them, actually).

I can say that, since that time, I’m sure I’ve done a lot of the EASIER things on my list. I didn’t do things like, Bungee jump, or Skydive. I don’t want to do those now, and it baffles me why I ever wanted to.

I have several tattoos. I’ve been a lot of places (outside the continental US, but haven’t had my feet off American soil). I’ve lived in five states since age 17, and right on the border of another. I’ve visited more states than I care to count right now, for one reason or another (almost always involving seeing people that I knew more so than doing THINGS). I’ve gone snowboarding more than once. I’ve been to the top of a mountain (driving, not climbing, but that’s one experience I don’t care to do again as I was nearly having a panic attack the entire time). I’ve seen the northern lights in person. I’ve gone whitewater rafting. I’ve been in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. I’ve gone snorkeling. I’ve driven to the point of being utterly lost and found my way home without a map or GPS or smartphone, both literally and figuratively.

I’ve written a book (quite a lot more than a), which was always on the list.

I’ve done some things in my life. I used to do so many things on a whim. I’d get an idea in my head and just . . . do it. It made for some amazing experiences, I can’t deny that, but it also made for some amazingly bad experiences along the way.

I’ve realized that – most of the time – when you reminisce with people, you filter through the memories. You laugh about the good (laying on a blanket around a bonfire with some of your best friends, staring up at the stars, while people play guitar and make up ridiculous songs sang in a Schwarzenegger-like voice), and skirt around the bad. You skirt around the bad and the REALLY bad is rarely ever acknowledged.

It’s better that way, I think. You know what happened and why talk about it when you can laugh instead?

BF and I often reminisce, as we have about 16 years or so of life spent (mostly) together to reminisce over. I realized that . . . most of the time, when I speak with people who have been in my life for a long time . . . reminiscing is involved (as long as there’s time to catch up and get past the ‘how have you been the last several months?’).

I have a lot of things that I still want to do, rather than talking about things that I’ve done before. They’re different wants than they likely would’ve been when I sat down however many years ago to write the old list. Then again . . . I wouldn’t know.

I’ve seen a few people have those sorts of lists on here, and it made me really think about it.

Rather than randomly spout off the things I still want to do, I’m going to make a new list and put it on here. I will cross things off when I get to them. I may never get to most of them, but I’m going to try.

It’s much more difficult to do when you get older and have so many things to take care of, but it’s not impossible. It’s much more difficult when you set your sights higher, but it’s not impossible.

It might take me a few days to get it up, but that’s the goal.

Aim for the stars.

Self-publishing.

Yeah. I’m doing it.

I know, I know. I said I was going to attempt querying and do the whole shebang (get an agent and we all lived happily ever after with a picket fence and 2.4 dogs, er, kids).

Anyone who’s been following my blog for a little while knows I flopped back and forth about it (don’t we all?). I spent so much time weighing the pros and cons of each – carefully and meticulously – until all cons blurred with pros and pros were cons and cons were . . . um . . . what’s going on? That was basically how it went in my head for a very long time, so I told my husband to make a decision on it. I was content with that for about a day or two, and then the mental-flopping began again. I didn’t want to blog about it because I wanted to get it sorted in my head.

I realized, after speaking with so many people, that this was a decision only I could make.

I started looking into cover artists just for curiosities sake and found one that I LOVED.

For about four days, I did nothing but flop around mentally afterward. I mulled over the word author. I’ve said it before that I will NOT call myself one unless the word aspiring is in front of it. Not yet.

One night, I looked up the definition of it. I kind of had a moment. There was no ‘traditionally published’ in the definition, of course. For one of those days, I contemplated over the word – what it meant, what it meant to other people, and what it meant to me.

Rather than focus on pros and cons, I started focusing on why. Why did I want to be published traditionally? What was drawing me to self-publishing despite the stars and rainbows and glitter of the P and the T together?

When thinking about the why . . . it fell into place.

I don’t need a publishing contract to accomplish what I’ve wanted to accomplish with this. All I want is for ONE person out there to love my books – to make an impact on a person the way that some books have impacted me. I don’t need a P and a T together for that. I don’t.

So I made the decision about a week and a half ago and I haven’t looked back since.

There hasn’t been one single flop from me, or even one second of doubting the choice I’ve made.

I don’t like posting things on here unless they’re set in stone. I’m feeling comfortable with sharing now.

I’ve been arranging things with that love-inducing cover artist and the photographer. I love them both. Seriously. Details are being figured out and things are being put in motion.

My editor had to extend the date of finishing my novel, so I won’t have it back until early to mid-October. I’m trying to get everything done that can be done until that point.

As of now, I’m shooting for early December. That’s going to depend on how everything works out, but now . . . I’ll be able to keep you all updated.

It’s so freaking weird having things moving. I spent such a long time feeling like my entire world was at a standstill.

Anyway. No more waiting. It’s time to start letting them go. I’m worried, of course, but . . . I’m feeling good. I’m excited. I never thought I’d be more excited than stressed/nervous, but . . . I am.

Wish me luck. I’m definitely going to need it.

O.O

A new journey is nigh . . .

It’s time to start writing again . . .

The realization that the time was here again hit me a few days ago – Friday night/Saturday morning (depending on your opinion as to whether a new day actually starts until you’ve slept or not). Husband and I had spent a little time with my sister, which was nice, but somewhere along the way I started talking about my books (I’ve just recently began calling it ‘soapboxing’). At some point, Husband went inside and left Sister and I standing out in my driveway. Talk of books slowly bled over into my anxieties – both in general, and where they pertain to my work.

I don’t generally do a lot of talking when I interact with my sister. More of it now than I used to, for sure. But I think that was the most talking that I’ve ever done with her about myself . . . possibly ever. It was nice.

Anyway, there are a few points to this. She basically told me that I’m being irrational about things, which is something I’ve been aware of for an extremely long time. I know when my reactions aren’t ‘normal’, but . . . it’s me.

My realization was that it was finally time. I’ve been losing my mind, and writing is . . . Well, it keeps me sane.

I haven’t been able to write a new story – despite my attempts – since I finished The Big 2 (which is my second series and, after looking through my first yesterday, is the only one worth mentioning). I blamed it on needing to get this series going somewhere – to be able to set it free, or lay it to rest, or do something FINAL with it. Realizing that it is now in the hands of Editor and all that I’m doing is waiting to hear back . . . Well . . . that’s pretty final. I have nothing else to do with it – at least not the first book, which is the only one that I can focus on until it’s OUT THERE (until I get it back, that is).

So I’m finally – in a way – feeling that sense of finality with it. Not with the world, but with those four books and their part in it. I’m torn about that, but it had to happen eventually.

I’ve been going back and forth about WHAT I want to write next. I have a few ideas swirling around in my head, and one of them that I’d started (those attempts at writing I mentioned earlier). But after doing some major self-evaluation where it pertains to my writing – playing to strengths, etc. – I’m just not so sure that I could do a more contemporary-based-in-this-world sort of book, and do it well. I don’t know.

Which is making me look at tonight and my adventure out into my writing shed in a new light. I have about as much idea-wise as I’ve always had when starting out . . . just the basis of SOMETHING. But . . . I’m looking at it as a completely new journey. Not into a new world, which will naturally happen once I get one set up, but a journey into my own abilities and limits with writing. I just might try an experiment – solely for myself.

I’m thinking I might try this absolutely mad concept of working on multiple things at one time. Possibly that experiment while working on an entirely new story. Who knows?

I’m going to have to get much better at multitasking. I’ve already fallen behind (AGAIN) with reading on here, and I’m one day late with my three-day-limit. Could be worse.

I’ll figure something out. Some sort of schedule, or something. We’ll see how that goes.

Either way, it will be new. And no matter the apprehension I feel towards leaving the world that I’m familiar with and love so completely . . . I can’t help but be excited about going on a new journey.

It will have to be good in order to hold a candle (in my heart) next to the old one.

We’ll see. 😉