3 Things I Hope to tick off My Bucket List in 2019 Even if I Don’t Win the Lottery
The start of a new year is like a blank slate, and we don’t know what will be written upon it. Even if we don’t hold that winning lottery ticket, there are loads of things we can engrave upon it.
My writerly pals and I are sharing our hopes - on the writing road and in our family life - for 2019 in our #Gr8Blog hop about what we hope to accomplish in 2019.
I’ll be over the moon if I can tick off 3 biggies from my bucket list in the next 12 months. Numbers 3 and 2 are simultaneously scary and super-challenging; my top wish is something I’ve been dreaming about for the longest time.
Please check out my 2019 Dream Trio Count-Down. Then be sure to visit the other #Gr8Blogs linked at the end of this post for more smiles and inspirations about 2019 wishes.
3. New Writing Direction
Consumed with rightsizing and building a new home in 2018, most of last year was swallowed with getting life in order. As 2019 settles and my brain declutters, I'm itching to define a new writing direction and pen my next book. But I don't now what that is yet. Sigh.
It’s painful to leave my Sweet T Tales. I love those characters and the books' beachy settings. Plus, Irene A. Jahn’s gorgeous watercolors blow me away! But I want to publish books that don’t have hefty printing costs due to multiple color illustrations associated with chapter books.
I’m leaning to YA or a cozy for grown-ups, but it’s all so fuzzy. How to find a niche I enjoy writing about AND find new readers for it?!?!?
Some days, I feel confident.
Other days, I’m overwhelmed.
But I’m nearly always determined.
Number two on my count-down falls at that fuzzy intersection of personal and authoring life.
Unlike many writing colleagues, I’m an ambivert who generally thrives being around people.
After moving from our long-time home this summer, I’ve been meeting new neighbors and sussing ways to connect in my new community, but it is a process that does not happen overnight.
Some days I feel like the new kid at lunchtime in junior high school ---You know the one? ---eagerly looking for welcoming spots in a sea of unfamiliar faces busy doing their thing.
BEST feeling in the world: seeing first-hand reactions to my tales when I talk with book clubs, libraries, or classrooms about writing. In 2019, I'll seek more such in-person or Skype opportunities to connect with readers, teachers, librarians and booklovers.
I'd be over the moon if you might help me by scheduling an author visit. Learn more and schedule your Catly time with a writer on my website HERE
I also want to notch up the quality and quantity of virtual engagements on social media --- this Cat's Corner blog, Facebook and Instagram --- but still keep writing while maintaining reasonable work hours. Anybody have the secret formula for this balancing act -:D?
1. Dream Trek West with Hub
I’ve traveled across the US for business or family visits to the Pacific Northwest. However, JM has never been west of the Mississippi River. That changes this spring as I tick off the top item on my 2019 bucket list .... Hub is traveling with me to Literary Classic's Great American Book Festival and Writers’ Conference in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Best, he’ll be at my side at the Literary Classics Book Awards, where I’ll accept a gold medal for writing Sweet T and the Turtle Team, the top children’s book in the environment category. So excited!
(Help ... I need a stylist! I must abandon my standard daily uniform of workout clothes for evening wear to walk the red carpet at the awards ceremony. Guessing sequined black yoga pants with matching top and rhinestone trainers would not do <wink>.)
Hub and I are adding to our adventure with a short stay at Rocky Mountain National Park (southwest of Rapid City, near Denver, Colorado). JM wants to see a bear in the wild. City Girl me, not so much, but I’d be okay seeing one and "shooting" it through my camera's telephoto lens from the safety of a car.
This experience feels surreal, and I'm trying to wrap my head around such a wonderful affirmation of five nose-to-the-grindstone years of writing to be bookended by travel adventures Hub and I dream about. Adding to our celebration ... the trip falls on our 25th wedding anniversary ... Yippy!
I’m beyond blessed to have such an opportunity. Can’t wait to trek west and share the adventure with you! (Hey, if you know the Badlands\Rockies area, please e-mail or IM me. I’d love insider travel tips.)
Thanks for stopping by. Most grateful for your company as I jump into mega-unexplored territory in 2019.
What do you want to accomplish on your bucket list this year? Please share in the comment section. And for more inspiration, please visit my #Gr8blog pals below. (Ooooo, and we’ll let you know if you if one of us actually wins the lottery <laughing here!>)
Hey, if you blog and want to join us on this hop, just add the family-friendly link to your post in the comment section. We’ll visit and give you some blog love-:D
Photo Credits: Parts 2 & 3: Unsplash; Part 3: National Park Service
Before you go:
Please find more inspiration and 2019 wishes by visiting my awesome #Gr8Blogs pals:
Jim "Lefty" Milson
1/11/2019 12:35:04 pm
Loved your blog. SO thrilled for you and hubby's trip to South Dakota to receive your well-deserved literary award. What a great way to celebrate your 25th - congratulations on both! And as a writer who has changed directions more than once during my career, take your time, experiment, and inspiration will lead you the right way. It can be fun and exciting to try out new kinds of writing. Have a great 2019, Cat!
1/11/2019 09:35:51 pm
Appreciate your kind feedback, Julie. We are excited about the award and trip, but I still can’t believe it. I’ve changed career direction before, but it’s taking longer to find this path. I’m inspired to hear of your successful transitions!
1/11/2019 12:37:56 pm
Sounds like you've got some big plans. I can't wait to meet you in South Dakota!
1/11/2019 09:39:16 pm
It will be awesome meeting in person, Jacqui. I’m grateful for cyber friends, but it’s super-special to meet in person. Can’t wait!
I am so excited for this year to unveil it self to you Cat. I wish I was there to see you strut your stuff across the red carpet. With you in spirit and cannot wait to hear all about your amazing adventure to the Midwest. I think you’re going to have some pretty juicy blog topics coming up throughout this year. Prepping for the trip, sightseeing, everything that goes along with South Dakota. Here’s to 2019!
1/11/2019 09:42:58 pm
Appreciate your support that helped get me to this point, Carmela -:D. LOL....and you are still offering awesome encouragement and blog ideas. Yep, posts and pix about the trip for sure will be on the blogging schedule.
1/11/2019 02:29:16 pm
"Lefty" -- good one! That perked his spirits up, worn out as he is! Rocky Mountain National Park is where I met my first Chipmunk years ago. That whole area is amazingly beautiful. So happy for you and JM to be able to make the trip! I am sure a new direction and writing purpose will reveal itself to you at the perfect time, so not to force or stress over. But sometimes "change simply for change's sake" can be a waste of time and energy. I think a black sequined sweat suit sounds simply stunning, and perfect for a creative author! And perhaps, the trip, award, and recognition are a message in themselves to not hastily abandon "Sweet T" and that meaningful work. That may be your calling, already. I always find it best to follow my heart, and not my brain, in such matters. My heart's desire is always the best path, for me. Whichever you decide, very best wishes and every success in the New Year!
1/12/2019 04:34:52 pm
How cool is that finding your first Chipmunk in the Rockies! I've only traveled through the western mountains on a train when a child; never explored them. James, I love your enthusiasm and wisdom about change -:D. I will try to take your lead: follow the heart. Maybe even look for black, sequined sweats, too <teehee>.
1/11/2019 03:34:37 pm
Hi Cat, what a wonderful and exciting time 2019 will bring you! Your hard work has payed off and we all are so proud of you.
1/12/2019 01:00:25 pm
I enjoy following your journeys of discovery and plans for the future, Cat. Looking forward to photos from the award ceremony. As for your choice of attire, wear your best smile and feel proud!
1/12/2019 04:40:40 pm
Awwww, love that image of a smiley, proud outfit, Eiry! Wise choice always -:D. Photos coming later this spring about the award ceremony. Beyond grateful for your company on this writing road.
1/12/2019 04:38:19 pm
I love nature, Rosie, but not being out in the wild. Too chicken! I will check with James and Little Red Bear for sure -:D.
1/13/2019 12:15:38 pm
My hubby and I want to plan a trip out west one of these years. Hopefully we make it there. You guys are going to have so much fun!! Happy 25yrs!! 🎉
1/14/2019 04:08:02 pm
Appreciate your kind wishes, Rebecca. LOL....Hub and I just realized it was our 25th.....doesn't seem possible! I hope you can travel west, too, one of these days.
1/13/2019 07:27:04 pm
Hi Cat, I too, am so excited for you. can't wait to follow you on your journey across America to the Rockies and the award ceremony. So proud of your award for Sweet T, you deserve the accolades. Love the idea of the sparkly yoga pants and trainers. Ha ha you rock girlfriend.
1/14/2019 04:09:46 pm
Wise words, Sandra...."Relax and enjoy the ride." I truly need to do that! Appreciate your company on this ride -:D
1/24/2019 09:41:21 pm
What an exciting list of plans you've got, Cat! I am actually quite jealous. However, I do remember that awful new-kid-in-town feeling and I also am half introvert, half extrovert and thrive if half my time is spent WITH people, half alone. So I know what it means when you feel on the outside. But I'm betting it won't take you long to find clubs and meetups where you'll find lots of in-person friends (as opposed to your many virtual/online friends like me!). I wish you all the best with the new book venture, whatever it turns out to be, and with your trips. I'm guessing the hubby will find a whole new appreciation for what you do, too, which is always icing on the cake. All the best in 2019!
1/25/2019 03:36:18 pm
It sounds as if we're a lot alike, Shana. I need in-person people time and cherish virtual pals like you -:D. Yep, hoping to notch up meet up and book volunteer commitments. Fingers crossed there and with the new book. I'm lucky that Hub is an editor for historical publications and has a good understanding of the writing process, but he never realized how challenging writing children's books can be! Thanks for your company on this journey!
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