Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ten Things To Do Before I Die

Dreams Come True"A dream is a wish your heart makes / Whatever you wish for, you keep / Have faith in your dreams and someday / Your rainbow will come smiling through / If you keep on believing / The dream that you wish will come true."

Taking Cinderella's words to heart, at the beginning of the year, I set my dreams on paper. Some of the items took me by complete surprise, while others have been voiced over and over again through the years, but I never formalized my hopes. Here are the notable mentions from the Life List.

Win the Golden HeartRITAMulti-published AuthorWin the Golden Heart, the Royal Ascot, the Laurie, and the Maggie. (Why not dream big?) Be a published author of more than twenty-five well-received novels. Win a RITA, that golden statuette of the academy award for romance authors.

Choral SingingSing in a professional choir. I have sung in college and community choirs on and off. Lately, I had to quit due to the migraines. I hope to some day be pain-free and return to the music of my heart.

Aurora BorealisWatch the Northern Lights from Alaska, Finland, Greendland, and Iceland. The picture on the right is by Judith James and taken in Yellowknife, Canada. Not only do the aurora borealis feature unearthly colors and sounds, they are rumored to be subject to singing by humans.

Hug a BearHold Hands with GorillaHold hands with a mountain gorilla in the Virunga forests in Rwanda. I have supported the Dian Fossey center at Karisoke for years. My first baby was Bikereri. The human girl child came later. On my list is also a desire to hug a brown bear. (A grizzly will do in a pinch._ Perhaps I should leave this as the last thing I do from my list. At least, I'll die with a smile.

Lake Nan Tso TibetPotala Palace TibetVisit Tibet, Bhutan, Sikkim, Assam, and Ladakh, the last few of the Himalayan kingdoms that have retained some of their culture. But the outside world is eroding the societal and cultural norms at warp speed.

Giant Tortoise of GalapagosYellow Warbler of GalapagosVisit the Galapagos Islands off the Ecuadoran coast. It was the last bastion of the perfect ecosystem, according to Darwin. Like ever other natural resource, it, too, is being corrupted at a blinding rate.

HawaiiHawaiiOwn a cottage on the beach in Hawaii with an English garden (and no lawn!!). Isn't this on everyone's dream list?

Do share: What are your dreams? What are your innermost desires? What hopes are you holding out for in your life?


Elyssa Papa said...

Great blog, Keira.

10 Things To Do Before I Die:

1. Meet and marry a real-life hero, the sort you'd encounter in a Romance novel. Extra points if he resembles Mr. Darcy, but I'd take him if he didn't.

2. Travel, maybe backpack style if I'm feeling extremely dangerous. Countries on the list: Egypt, South Africa, Tanzania, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Norway, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireleand, Greece... the list goes on and on. Really it's more about traveling where my heart--and purse--leads me.

3. To do something fearless, something out of my comfort zone. Not particular what it is, but it has to be something I wouldn't normally do.

4. To travel cross-country, a very post college road trip.

5. Be on the Oprah Winfrey show for something good and not something scandalous.

6. To get an agent and publisher.

7. To have a home by the sea.

8. To have a successful writing career and have my works read by more than ten people. And then because of that success, be on the Oprah Winfrey show where she pulls out a surprise guest--Samuel L. Jackson.

9. To have my books successfully translated to Hollywood films, and I get a really good percentage of the royalites and points. (Hey, a girl can dream).

10. To be happy, loved, respected, and listened to no matter what I do in my life.

Keira Soleore said...

Hey Ely, good to read your dreams. I had a good laugh over your Mr. Darcy hope. Would that be Colin Firth or Matthew McFadyen.

I'd love to backpack like a free spirit. I remember a friend who retired and decided to take a walking trip of Europe. Walking, ouch! The train, bus, boat, and airplane for me, plz kthx.

A home by the sea. Do you find that the sound of the ocean fills your heart with joy? It does that for me, while being soothing, too.

A Hollywood producer... Yeah! Go Ely!

Oh, your last item brought tears to my eyes. I've added this to my off-line Life List.

Elyssa Papa said...

Keira, for me, it's only Colin Firth. It's blasphemy otherwise. LOL

Keira Soleore said...

YumHum Matthew...


Elyssa Papa said...

Oh Keira you can have Matthew. I won't fight you for him.

But come near Colin... now that's a different story.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Keira, Ely mightn't fight you for Matthew, but I SURE WOULD!!! He's welcome to walk through my dew-laden fields as the sun peeps over the horizon any time he likes! Especially if his shirt is open and his coat is flapping!

What a beautiful blog! Dreams do come true - I thought I'd NEVER see a book with my name on it and it still happened. So hang onto those dreams, even if they seem impossible.

Oh, man! I haven't actually sat down and enumerated mine. I'd love to hit the NYT. I'm not mentioning the RITA because that might jinx it but I've got to say just getting nominated was a dream come true too.

I'd love to see the Northern Lights too (all that Viking ancestry calling to me, I think!). I'd love to see the Taj Mahal. And the fjords of Patagonia. I'd love to live in the Hebrides for six months. I want to go to the ballet in St. Petersburg.

That's probably enough to keep me going in the meantime!

Annie West said...

Hi Keira,

What a great idea to sit down and set out your dreams. I might just aim to do that myself soon. Lately mine have revolved around the simple (but important) one of a healthy, happy family. And, of course, becoming a successful writer... still working hard on that one.

I think a lot of my other goals will be to do with travel. Places as diverse as Sicily, Iceland, Tahiti, Morocco and Tashkent.

Looking forward now to devising my list, Keira. Thank you!


Keira Soleore said...

Foanna, m'love. En garde. You threw down the gauntlet, I get to choose the weapons. Rapiers at dawn. May the winner get Matthew (was he the inspiration for your Matthew) coming out of the mist. Ely can have Colin coming out of the lake.

Ooh. St. Petersburg. I want to visit the Hermitage. The closest I've been is Tallinn in Estonia. I loved, loved, loved that brief visit.

I forgot to include Mongolia. We had booked our tickets and planned the trip to Morocco for December '01 and then 9/11 happened.

Hm. I see a long trip coming up for the four of us.

Annie: Without health there's nothing. You're so right to set yourself few and attainable goals and do those very well, then move on to others.

BTW, I re-read Tycoon last week, and I enjoyed it all over again. Thank you for a fun story. In a sense it brought back memories of those long-ago M&Bs I read. Stories, well-told, are ageless.

Trish Milburn said...

Great list, Keira. Two things I'd like to do is visit every unit of the U.S. National Park system and hike the length of the Appalachian Trail.

Diane Gaston said...

1. Hit the NYT bestseller list
2. Live in England for at least 3 months straight.
3. See my children settled and happy in their adult lives.
4. Travel across the US, stopping wherever I want to.
5. Visit Australia and New Zealand

Not ten, but so many of my dreams have already come true.

Keira Soleore said...

Trish: I interned one year for The Mountaineers Books, which is a small press in Seattle well-known in the mountaineering and hiking world. As an editorial assistant, I was in charge of the slush pile. Glorious job, eh? Not. But there was one manuscript, badly formatted, partly and untidily handwritten, and with an author photo in a scraggly beard and grizzled head. WOW! It was partyly a diary, partly a memoir, and partly a detailed how-to on hiking the Appalachian Trail. (When I left the company, they were moving forward to scheduling his manuscript for editing and production.) So, when you hike the trail, remember that there are publishers who will publish your story.

Keira Soleore said...

My husband was talking earlier today about his group having employees in Shanghai, and if we wanted to, we could live there for 3-4 months. I was like: Can't you swing Cambridge, England (where the company has an outfit, too)?

We were originally scheduled to travel to Oz and NZ this December, but then plans changed; we're going to visit Hubby's family then. So we're hoping for a trip there next summer, most likely before the conference.

Keira Soleore said...

Diane, regarding The List -- I'm betting on it happening very soon. You know it, I know it, and all your fans believe it.

Kelly Krysten said...

I love your goals and dreams Keira. I also want to win the writing awards you mentioned. I want to travel to Italy, France, China, England(of course), and too many other places to name. I want to meet a man who will love me as much as I love him. And I want to meet all of my on-line friends.
Great Blog, Keira!

Keira Soleore said...

I want to meet you very much, Kelly. Perhaps one of the RWA Nationals will come closer to you, and we'll be able to meet. Are you a member, BTW? If so, of a local chapter, too, and/or The Beau Monde?

I'm hoping that your HEA will come with travel plans and include a trip to National to sign a contract with a publishing house. How's that for a goodly-sized goal?

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

I don't know if I have ten things to do but here are a few.

1. Meet and marry a real-life hero, one who adores me and respects me and my writing. Extra points if he's Scottish or Australian!

2. Visit Australia and India.

3. Go sky-diving

4. Get a tattoo

5. Become a multi-published author in more than one genre.

6. Have a second home in London.

7. Spend more time in Italy

8. Meet Oprah

9. Fix up my apartment so that its the way I want it to be.

10. Have a child, either by adopting or giving birth.

Keira Soleore said...

Gosh, Elizabeth, your RL hero sounds divine. Imagine what it would do to his accent, if a Scottish man were born and partly bred in Scotland and then lived in Australia after that. Yum.

#4 is on my list, too, and for the near future before National. I have the design and the body part. I'm in need of a dash of courage.

When you do achieve your second home in London, be prepared for a steady stream of visitors. In fact, be prepared for having a constant wait-list for visitors. :)

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Keira -

I made a list yars ago and keep it by my computer just for the rare occasion when I get to scratch something off. I have the usual travel to exotic places but I want to fly first class. Just once.

I want to ride the Orient Express and that scenic railroad trip through the length of Canada.

I want to have my book be shelved on the "Famous Author" shelves of Hudson Booksellers (the ones in airports). I figure they might require that one hit some of the lists first - but at least I have the goal in sight.

I want to afford a house that overlooks the ocean and actually have the time to enjoy it.

Finally, I want to earn enough that I can quit my accounting practice and maybe even hire an accountant to my return *g*.

Keira Soleore said...

Donna: I love how you said that not only do you want a house facing the ocean, but you also want to have the time to enjoy it. That latter part is what most of us forget. We're eager to satisfy the former, and then, we're busy fulfilling the other items on the list and forget to enjoy what we're earned.

Ah yes, of course. The ultimate "you've made it" is finding yourself in airport newstands and in grocery store check-out lines.

Anna Sugden said...

Great post, Keira! I loved your ten things.

I'm lucky enough to have done some of my ten things, like swimming with dolphins and mushing with huskies.

I too would love to see the Northern Lights. And go to Lapland to see Santa (yes, it's corny, but I'm that kinda gal).

I'd like to see Macchu Picchu (fear of heights permitting) and the opal fields of Cooper Pedy and Lightning Ridge.

Obviously I'd love to see my books in print. I dream of the day I get people coming up to me and telling me how much they loved my books (and my hockey hunks!)

Sadly, I won't ever be a film director ... then again, never say never!

Looking forward to seeing you in Cambridge some time - that's where we'll be from August!