When I was young, I only wanted two things: to publish a novel, and to travel to Britain.
In 1996, my husband and I took a ten-day trip to London, York, and Edinburgh. It was everything I had hoped for. I saw places I had only dreamed about, that I had only seen pictures of. And I was there. In person. Here’s me having tea in our London hotel lobby while we waited for our room. I was supremely, ridiculously happy.
And, of course, last year, my first novel was published.
Holding that book in my hands, I said to my husband, “There’s literally nothing else I need to do. I’ve done everything I ever wanted.”
I started thinking that I’ve still got (hopefully) quite a few years left, so it might be a nice idea to have a few more things to be passionate about.
I decided to pull together a new list of things I’d like to experience in the rest of my life.
Go back to the United Kingdom: And this time, I can call it research! My next opportunity is likely to come at the end of 2018. My oldest is taking a semester abroad at Queen Mary University London, so OF COURSE I’m going to need to visit! Where will we go from there? Only time, money, and our adventurous hearts will tell…
Meet my publishing family: One of the joys of publishing with City Owl has been connecting with other authors who have been published by the same press. Even though we’re from all sorts of backgrounds, live all over the country, and write all sorts of different novels — from contemporary to Own Voices to historical to urban fantasy — we’ve bonded like siblings: we don’t always agree, but boy, do we have each other’s backs. Have a question about building your brand? Ask. Feeling bad about your writing? Honey, we’ve all been there. Need someone to read your draft? Volunteers!
I want to meet these people.
Next summer, our amazing publishing team is putting together a weekend adventure in New York, and I plan to be there. With my City Owl sisters!
Be in a position to set up or contribute to a scholarship fund: As a student, I worried about having enough money for my education. And this was in the 80s, when tuition cost about a tenth of what it does today. I talk to my students about this every semester: the high cost, even at a public university; the pressure they feel to succeed because of the money they — and their parents — are spending; the debt they are accumulating. I would love to be able to fund a scholarship that would help relieve some of that pressure for even one student. Someone with a curiosity to explore the world and make it better. Am I an idealist? Sure. But I see plenty of these kinds of kids in my classroom. They’re real. And they need all kinds of help to succeed. Including financial.
Volunteer for the local Shakespeare Festival: I love the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. I attend several plays there every summer, and I always have fun. At some point, when I have more time (a/k/a when I retire), I’d love to do more with and for them. Get involved in community outreach. Work with the children’s program. Maybe even help with the play selection, if that’s a thing they’d let me do. (Just not fundraising. I suck at that.).
Publish a second book… and a third, and a fourth: Well, yeah. Obviously.
What about you? What are your goals, wishes, dreams? Once you’ve checked a few items off the list, have you added new ones?