Bucket List Challenge Blog Hop – Working Through My List

bucket-list-blog-hop-badgeThis blog hop is brought to you by Dana Sitar, celebrating the release of her book A Writer’s Bucket List: 99 things to do for inspiration, education, and experience before your writing hits the bucket.

Please click the image to the left to view the other bloggers participating in this hop (from February 5th – 12th, 2013).

Also, Dana will be hosting the FIRST #DIYwriteCHAT on Twitter tonight, February 5th, at 7 pm PT/10 pm ET (or, 9 pm, for my fellow Central Time peeps). For more info, please check out her blog post on it.

My Bucket List

Ah, bucket lists . . .

I would say that, until the past few years, bucket lists have normally been paired with inevitable death. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve had my fair share of close encounters with death (probably more than most 27-year-olds), but more and more lately I’ve started to equate bucket lists with life.

Because life isn’t worth living unless you’re doing something with it.

So, highlighting two of my bucket list items that I really want to complete in 2013:

1. Have some fiction (preferably a novel) published before I’m 30.

Considering I will turn 28 in a few months, I need to get the ball rolling on this one, especially since I would prefer to go the traditional publishing route. This is in progress – my fantasy novel Catalyst (written for NaNoWriMo 2012) is a finalist for the 2013 NaNo Virtuosos Contest with Curiosity Quills Press. YOU can help me mark this off my bucket list and win a publishing deal *winkwink* by going and voting for my story. (Please only vote once. If you find the voting page confusing, please check out this blog post of mine with illustrated instructions.)

If I don’t win NaNo Virtuosos, my next plan of action is to keep editing & revising Catalyst and pitch it to at least one agent at the OWFI Conference in May, and to start querying/submitting to agents and other publishing houses (I mean, TOR takes unsolicited manuscripts . . . and if a fantasy writer can get in with TOR, that’s a pretty sweet deal. But I also really like the idea of working with a small press, like Curiosity Quills.)

2. Get a tattoo.

I . . . have been fascinated with tattoos for as far back as I can remember. I was about 13/14 when I realized I definitely wanted at least one tattoo in my lifetime.

From when I was 15 until I was 19, my family had some huge struggles, especially with some health situations. As a result, when I reached ‘adulthood’ (you know, the really mature age-range of 18-19-20, I felt I was a living conundrum. I knew who I was as a person, but I had no idea what I wanted out of life. I also had a glimmer of an idea of a tattoo I wanted based on some of the things I experienced during that time, but that idea is still evolving and growing.

Sadly, a lot of those above mentioned situations are still ongoing with my family. I won’t lie – the last year and a half have been really tough. Unfortunately, I don’t think any of those situations have become easier to bear, we’ve just become more accustomed to bearing them.

This past summer, I realized what I wanted my first tattoo to be.

You see, the one thing I am certain of is that I would have broken under all the stress a long time ago if it wasn’t for my faith in God, and my confidence in His faithfulness, no matter what the circumstances appear to be.

But I tend to try carrying burdens never meant to be mine, and I literally carry stress and anxiety in my neck and shoulders (you do not want to hear what I’m my massage therapist is going to be saying about the knots soon).

So, I need a reminder that I am not responsible to bear every burden – and the ones I am to bear are fully within my capability.

Some time this year, most likely in the summer, I want to get this scripture (Matthew 11:29b-30) tattooed across my shoulders:

. . . and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

That way, hopefully, every time I reach back to rub the knots out of my shoulders, I remember to evaluate which knots should even be there in the first place.

If you’d like to read more about my goals & aspirations for 2013, please check out this post.