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vision board movie

My Vision Board Movie

What does your Vision Board look like?

Do you have a bucket list?  What about a vision board?  This is my video vision board movie that I watch almost every day to keep me inspired and on track toward my goals, and also to keep me focused on my glorious now…

The best way to achieve your goals is to keep them top of mind – and a vision board, or in this case, a vision board movie, is the perfect tool to help you do that.

By watching your vision board movie every day, you begin to visualize your ideal life on a regular basis, and therefore activate the creative powers of your subconscious mind and program your brain to notice anything and everything that may help you get closer to what you want…

In my life, this has been one of the most powerful tools I have ever used – and I love it!  It’s amazing what starts to show up when you pay attention to your dreams!

If you are interested in creating your own vision board movie, I created this one in the free Window’s Movie Maker program and using my Bucket List as motivation for the images I used.

Shoot me a message to let me know when you create yours – I’d love to see it and hear your stories of how your dreams are coming true!

 

 

Quest: One week without disposable plastic

Can you go a week without acquiring/using any new disposable plastic items?

plastic-trashHow many disposable plastic bags, bottles, cups and utensils do you use in a day, a week, a year?

After watching a video by Jeff Bridges (I’ve embedded it below for you) I was inspired to take the challenge of starting with just one week – just one week – of not adding any new disposable plastic items into my world.

Sounds fairly simple, yes?  That’s what I thought!  I’m a reasonably planet-conscious person who recycles and prefers ‘real’ to ‘artificial’…  Should be a snap.  MAN, was I WRONG!

Here’s the video – watch this first and then I’ll tell you about my week of NO DISPOSABLE PLASTIC…

When did we become a plastic society?

Posted by Jeff Bridges on Monday, March 28, 2016

 

Day One – I didn’t go out of the house so day one was a success (kinda feels like cheating, but a success, nonetheless)

Day Two – A challenge was that I forgot to take water with me so called into a pharmacy to buy some – only to find the only water came in DISPOSABLE PLASTIC! So, I ended up buying a juice in a glass container… Then I was going to pick up some chicken on my way home but realized they would be putting the meat into DISPOSABLE PLASTIC bags… This whole challenge is actually more ‘challenging’ than I first anticipated!

Day Three – Decided to have breakfast on my way out this morning and called into a very cute-looking little cafe.  Ordered a yummy breakfast and an orange juice – only to have the breakfast delivered on a PLASTIC plate with PLASTIC knife and PLASTIC fork, and the orange juice served in a PLASTIC bottle.  It was all very tasty, but did rather dampen my enthusiasm for thinking I would be doing the right thing eating at a cafe that would have ‘real’ plates, cutlery and glassware.

Then on to the movies and I took my empty glass juice container from day 2 for them to fill with water – since they don’t like you bringing your own.  Unfortunately, while the only water they could offer me came in PLASTIC bottles, they were kind enough to fill my glass container with diet-soda (OK, so I know I wasn’t going to have any more soda while on my Kilimanjaro quest – but I felt like I would rather give up and have that one soda than buy a PLASTIC bottle during my one-week challenge.

Next, I called in to pick up some groceries and still baffled about how I was going to buy chicken and/or steak to cook at home without using any plastic, I asked to speak to the butcher.  After telling him about my quest, he said there was no possible way in any store he knew of where I could purchase meat without the use of plastic as even if I brought in my own container to put it in after he had weighed it, he would still need to put a plastic bag or sheet on the scales in order to do so.

SO, not one to be deterred, I went home meat-less.

Makes me think that vegans seem to be much less plastic-culprits simply by the very nature of the packaging of their food choices!

Am now home for the rest of the day…  Will see what tomorrow brings…

Day Four – I was home all day so no risk of adding to the plastic collection… however, I’m still baffled by many elements on this journey – mostly how it’s even possible to purchase the most basic of items without adding more plastics to the world…

Day Five – What a challenge…  Rather than purchase groceries that come in plastic packaging, I decided to forego breakfast, had a quick omelette for lunch (thankfully eggs come in paper-based packaging ALTHOUGH the cage-free eggs were ALL PLASTIC), and went out for dinner.

Day Six – Apart from an errand, decided to pick up some Chinese food – not something I normally eat but at least I knew their boxes were cardboard – so that I had enough take-out to last the final two days of my challenge…

Day Seven – after eating leftovers for breakfast, I hopped into my car and headed for Philadelphia to attend a conference,, foregoing lunch and having a delicious dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, the Moshulu (a turn of the century four-masted tall ship), knowing they would not be offering plastic!  🙂

What did I take away from this challenge?

In my experience, it is impossible to obtain what today we call ‘normal’ groceries without adding disposable plastic to the world.  It’s that simple.  It’s not a matter of purchasing at a different local store for this or that…  It’s simply not possible.  For instance, there were zero alternatives available to me in anywhere within a 50 mile radius (and yes, I went hunting) for me to purchase meats that were not packaged in disposable plastic.  Yes, I could purchase fruits and vegetables plastic-free, but that was largely where the quest ended.

So, unless I wish to exist on only fruit and vegetables at home and dining out for every other form of food – and to forego toothpaste, shampoo… the list goes on…

Even purchasing eggs – in the supermarket in the town where I am, the free-range (my preference) were all in plastic and only the eggs produced in ‘chicken-factories’ (that I tend to avoid) were in paper-based packaging.

I find it fascinating to look at the lives of people such as writer, Sarah Crisman – she, along with her husband, has chosen to largely immerse herself in the late 1800s – right down to everyday items.  As they state on their website, “We are NOT actors playing dress-up to portray “great men/women”, but just ordinary people choosing to insert as much of history into our present as we can, and using our experiences to teach others.  Sarah wears a corset 24/7, 365 days a year.  All of Gabriel’s current glasses date from the nineteenth century, from his 1850’s green sunglasses, to his everyday gold-rimmed spectacles, to his pince-nez for reading.  We don’t have cell phones, or watch television; Sarah doesn’t even have a driver’s license.  This is who we are.”

I believe it is only people such as the Crismans who are so removed from the 21st century who could possibly come close to a non-disposable-plastic existence.  For the rest of us…  I feel the best we can do is do the best we can to minimize the impact.

Quest technically over – yet I feel I have accomplished nothing…  Food for thought…

Leigh St John

Who am I? An unexpected (and very personal) journey…

family history ancestry

Over the past months I have been tracing my ancestry – and what I have discovered actually revealed more about who I am, how I view the world and interact within it than I ever expected…

Growing up in a seaside mining town in working class suburban Australia, I never felt like I belonged anywhere or to anyone.

My mother’s parents and grandparents were lovely, ‘salt of the earth’ type of people who were all liked and respected in town.  My great-grandfather was a Grand Master Mason, his grandfather was a notable doctor…  They were dependable, solid people.

My mother, however, seemed to have inherited genes from elsewhere in the ancestral tree as her ‘free’ ways resulted in her becoming pregnant with me as a teenager.  Repeatedly hearing from your mother that “you ruined my life” stuck with me for many years.  It’s interesting looking back on how knowing you are not wanted shapes how you see yourself as you grow up.

My father died in a trucking accident when I was only 6 years of age and my mother quickly found a replacement.

To say that the next 12 years of my life living in that house were a living hell would be a reasonably accurate statement – it involved every type of abuse imaginable – but everyone has their cross to bear and I was at least blessed to have my Nan, my great-grandmother living in a trailer in the back yard.

She was my rock who taught me everything important in life, and even though she was an old woman by then, did her best to protect me even at the expense of herself becoming battered and bruised, until she passed away when I was 13.

Needless to say, apart from my Nan I never felt any sense of family nor belonging, and to this day have no connection nor communication with any of them (apart from my mother’s elder sister with whom I am so blessed to have just recently reconnected).

Fast-forward to the present and for the past few months I have been tracing my ancestry and what I have found has astounded me – but the astonishment is what I found within…

As I traced my father’s line, I felt no connection to anyone…  I didn’t seem to ‘be’ like any of them.

As I traced my great-grandmother’s line, I again felt no connection to anyone but my Nan…  Again, they all seemed foreign to me.

…but as I traced my great-grandfather’s line (my Nan’s husband who died four years before I was born), it was like I was seeing ‘me’ in these people…  Their professions, their attributes and characteristics as recorded in various records, newspaper articles and journals…

Researching my other lines felt like I was reading about someone else’s life – or even reading a piece of fiction – but this particular line felt/feels ‘real’ to me…

…and yes, I know we are an amalgam of each and all of our ancestors, but we resemble some more than others.  Just as while I resemble my mother in looks, that is where the resemblance ends.

For the first time in my life I feel like I have a history that goes beyond “ruining” someone’s life…

For the first time in my life I feel like I have an inheritance of values and interests and skills from people who lived full, rich lives…

For the first time in my life I feel like I ‘belong’ to a ‘family’…  These people are MY people.  I come from somewhere – and I know where that somewhere is and I am even going to visit and explore there, to meet the people, visit the graves of my ancestors and get a physical sense of who they were.  I have a history that goes beyond me.

For the first time in my life I feel like I am not alone on the planet – that somewhere out there I have a ‘family’ – I have ‘roots’…  I belong.

Don’t get me wrong, I am ever so blessed to have chosen my family of friends – and I love each and every one of them dearly… but this journey has introduced me to the people in the mirror – the people who stare back at me through my eyes, the shape of my nose, the color of my hair, the way I think and feel…  The people whose genes are intertwined and intermingled with mine…

This journey has also started me thinking about those who are adopted and who never get the opportunity to discover their ‘people in the mirror’…  – and also the fact that I do not have any children to whom I can pass on this rich tapestry…

When I eventually depart from this physical existence, this all stops with me.

Before this journey, I had never understood why the bible and other accounts through history place so much importance on who begat whom, and while I can and will write stories about what I have discovered, to you they will be just that, stories.  Without the legacy of children, my linage stops with me.

At this stage of my life (I turn 50 this year) it is highly unlikely that I will have any children – and even if the wonderful, tall, handsome man who is coming into my life soon to sweep me off my feet comes with children and even grand-children who take to me as their own, my genetic ancestry still stops with me.

…and as I contemplate that notion, it becomes clearer than ever why I feel so compelled to inspire people, so compelled to leave some form of legacy that will continue to inspire after I head back to my home planet 🙂

Maybe there is a need to leave a legacy hard-wired in to us in our genetic makeup – like fight or flight, the need to breathe, the compulsion to help someone in distress…  For most, the legacy is in the form of loving and protecting their children – but when you don’t have children, perhaps the legacy is simply expressed in a different form.

For me this ancestral discovery project has been (and continues to be) one of fascination and self-discovery – and a very unexpected journey…

Writing Competitions & Book Fairs – April 2016 Deadlines

Keyboard_typingTime to start writing and/or submitting your work for these April 2016 Deadlines!

Remember, continually promoting your book leads to greater awareness, increased sales and sometimes to opportunities you could never have imagined…

Here are the latest writing competitions and book fairs for you to consider – they each have deadlines of April 2016.

…and if you need any help or support, just reach out and we will be happy to assist wherever we can!

Btw, there is a larger than normal number of poetry competitions this month, but scroll through and you will find just about every genre listed, as well as an interesting array of book fairs for you to attend.


 

Kay Snow Writing Contest

  • http://willamettewriters.org/submit-your-writing/kay-snow-writing-contest/
  • April 30, 2016
  • The purpose of this annual writing contest, named in honor of Willamette Writers’ founder, Kay Snow, is to help writers reach professional goals in writing through a broad array of categories, and also to encourage student writers. In addition to cash prizes, winners will be listed on the Willamette Writers website, are honored at our Willamette Writers Conference held annually in August, and are automatically considered for publication in Willamette Writers’ new literary journal.

Self-Published Book Awards

  • http://www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions/self-published-book-awards
  • April 1, 2016
  • Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. Writer’s Digest hosts the 24th annual self-published competition–the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition, co-sponsored by Book Marketing Works, LLC spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors.

1st Annual New Deal Writer’s Competition

  • http://livingstonarts.org/new-deal-writing-competition/
  • April 1, 2016
  • The New Deal Writer’s Competition is a short story competition where the writer is asked to use a painting chosen by the staff of Livingston Arts as inspiration for their piece

Ware Poets Competition

  • http://www.poetrypf.co.uk/comps/ware16.pdf
  • April 30, 2016
  • The competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over.

2016 Bristol Short Story Prize

  • http://intercompetition.com/index.php/writing/ad/2016-bristol-short-story-prize
  • April 30, 2016
  • “The maximum length of submissions is 4,000 words, there is no minimum length.
    Stories can be on any theme or subject and are welcome in any style including graphic, verse or genre-based (Crime, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Children’s etc.).
    All entries should be in English.”

Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize

  • http://www.upress.pitt.edu/renderHtmlPage.aspx?srcHtml=htmlSourceFiles/starrett.htm
  • April 30, 2016
  • “The University of Pittsburgh Press announces the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize for a first full-length book of poems.
    You have to send one copy of your manuscript on good quality white paper, with no fewer than 48 and no more than 100 typescript pages. You should also include your curriculum vitae.” “7500 Thomas Blvd.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15260”

Spring 2016 Literary Festival

  • https://www.ohio.edu/cas/english/news-events/spring-literary-festival.cfm
  • April 6-8, 2016
  • Since 1986, The Spring Literary Festival has featured some of the world’s finest, most distinguished writers of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. The three-day festival is held in May on the Ohio University main campus in Athens, OH.

2016 Bath Short Story Award

  • http://bathshortstoryaward.co.uk/
  • April 25, 2015
  • “Stories can be on any theme or subject but must be original and written in English. They must also be for adult or young adult readers. Non-fiction and fiction written for children under 13 years is not eligible.
    Maximum length is 2,200 words.  Entries must not have been previously published in print or online, been broadcast or won a prize.”

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

  • https://winningwriters.com/our-contests/wergle-flomp-humor-poetry-contest-free
  • April 1, 2016
  • Submit one poem only, with a maximum of 250 lines 351 Pleasant Street, PMB 222, Northampton, MA 01060

The London Book Fair

  • http://www.londonbookfair.co.uk/
  • 12-14 April 2016
  • The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. In 2016 the fair will take place at Olympia, West London, and cover all aspects of the publishing industry.

Ver Poets

  • http://verpoets.org.uk/
  • April 30, 2016
  • Poems must be no more than 30 lines in length. They may be on any theme and in any form. The competition is open to anybody aged 16 or over. Competitors may submit any number of poems for a fee of £4.00 per poem, 3 poems for £10, £2 per poem thereafter.

The Prestigious Claymore Award

  • http://www.claymoreaward.com/
  • April 30, 2016
  • Judges will consider any subgenre of mystery or thriller. Enter the first 50 pages of any unpublished literature “P.O. Box 680759
    Franklin, Tennessee 37068-0759”

Colm Toibin International Short Story Competition

  • http://www.focalliteraryfestival.com/the-colm-toibin-international-short-story-award/
  • April 1, 2016
  • “Entries must be between 1,800 and 2,000 words in length. Entries must be in English. Entries must be the original work of the author and must not have been previously published either in writing or electronically. Entries which have received awards in other competitions are also ineligible.” “C/- Focal @ Enniscorthy Library
    Lymington Road,
    Enniscorthy Co. Wexford Ireland”

International Short Story Contest

  • https://www.firstwriter.com/competitions/short_story_contest/
  • April 1, 2016
  • The contest is open to stories of any style and on any subject, but they must not be longer than 3,000 words. The closing date for submissions is April 1, 2016, and there is a reading fee of $9.75 / £6.50 per story. Alternatively you can enter two stories for just $8.63 / £5.75 each, three stories for only $7.50 / £5.00 each, or five stories for only $6.00 / £4.00 per story.

Momaya Press’s Short Story Competition

  • http://momayapress.com/momaya-short-story-competition/
  • April 30, 2016
  • Momaya Press’s Short Story Competition is open to writers of any nationality writing in English and offers the opportunity for winners to be published in the Momaya Annual Review 2016.

The Bath Novel Award

  • 2016 http://bathnovelaward.co.uk/
  • April 10, 2016
  • Novels written for adults or young adults, first 5,000 words plus synopsis PO Box 5223, Bath, BA1 0UR, England, UK
    FanStory’s Character Writing Contest
    http://www.fanstory.com/contestdetails.jsp?id=102630 April 29, 2016 “Write a short story that includes a character that is part of the scene pictured below. Creative approaches are welcomed. We are looking for ‘Vivid Characterization’ – well-defined, rich characterization. These are characters you can vividly hear, see, smell and care about as they are created by the writer. Minimum length 700 words. Maximum Length 7,000 words. Recommended length 2,000 – 3,500 words “

The Story House Ireland Presents “Poetry: The Craft”

  • http://www.poetryireland.ie/writers/opportunities/the-story-house-ireland-presents-poetry-the-craft
  • April 11, 2016
  • Coleridge said that poetry is the best words in the best order, but how do you choose the words and the order? Join experienced tutors, Nessa O’Mahony and Peter Sirr, for a week-long residential course that will guide you through the craft of writing poetry, from getting started, developing a daily practice of writing and reading, through drafting and redrafting, to finishing your work.

The Magpie Award for Poetry

  • http://pulpliterature.com/contests/
  • April 15, 2016
  • At Pulp Literature, we have an affinity for poetry, the hard liquor of literature. We like it strong, neat, and we don’t mind if it makes our eyes water. Our judges, will be looking for a fusion of musicality, imagery, feeling, and thought. May the best poem win!

Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry

  • http://www.sarabandebooks.org/morton
  • April 30, 2016
  • This contest is open to any poet of English. Employees and board members of Sarabande Books, Inc. are not eligible. Individual poems from the manuscript may have been published previously in magazines, chapbooks of less than 48 pages, or anthologies, but the collection as a whole must be unpublished. Translations and previously published collections are not eligible. To avoid conflict of interest, close friends of a judge or students in a degree-granting program with a judge are not eligible to enter a contest in the genre for which their friend or teacher is serving as judge.

2016 Poetry Chapbook Contest

  • http://www.omnidawn.com/contest/poetry-contests.htm
  • April 18, 2016
  • Open to all writers with no limitations on the amount of poetry a writer has published. Submissions should be 20–40 pages of poetry, not including front and back matter. (Keep in mind that this is intended to fit in a 5.5 x 7 inch published chapbook of approximately 60 pages or less, although you can submit on standard 8.5 x 11 inch pages, and we will format to fit the smaller size.) Colleagues, students, and close friends of the judge, Hoa Nguyen, are not eligible. “1632 Elm Avenue
    Richmond, CA 94805-1614”
    Wax Poetry and Art http://waxpoetryart.com/contests/poetry.html April 30, 2016 “The work submitted must be wholly original to the person submitting
    the work.
    Simultaneous submissions are not allowed for this contest. Please do not
    submit the same poems anywhere else until the contest results are
    announced.”

RhymeZone Poetry Prize

  • http://www.rhymezone.com/contest/
  • April 12, 2016
  • For the first RhymeZone Poetry Prize, we asked people to write poems on the theme of “Understanding”. We received 3,556 submissions from more than 3,000 people from all across the United States and Canada. The poems touch on all aspects of the contest theme, and there’s a staggering diversity of styles, forms, meters, rhyme schemes, and topics.

Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards

  • http://www.poetrycenterpccc.com/awards/
  • April 1, 2016
  • Up to five poems per person will be accepted for consideration. Submit four copies of each poem for distribution to the judges. No poem should be more than two manuscript pages. Since the poems will be judged anonymously, sheets which contain the poems should not have the poet’s name on them. Include a separate cover sheet with the poet’s name, mailing address, phone number, email address and the titles of the poems. Poems cannot be returned.

Paterson Fiction Prize

  • http://www.poetrycenterpccc.com/awards/
  • April 1, 2016
  • A $1000 prize is awarded by The Poetry Center at PCCC for a novel or collection of short fiction which, in the opinion of our judges, is the strongest work of fiction published in 2015.

THE 2016 BEST FIRST NOVEL COMPETITION

  • http://www.delsolpress.org/DSP-NovelCompetition.htm
  • April 15, 2016
  • The competition is open to all authors writing in English regardless of nationality or residence, and is available to published and unpublished authors alike. Genres we are looking for include literary and upmarket fiction, mainstream or general fiction, mystery/thriller or speculative fiction with a literary edge, serious women’s fiction, and unique experimental work. “2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
    Ste 443
    Washington, DC 20006”

Acrostic Poetry Contest

  • http://www.fanstory.com/contestdetails.jsp?id=102652
  • April 24, 2016
  • Write an acrostic poem where the first letter of each line spells out a word (downwards). The poem can be about anything. It can be based on one or more words. Creative approaches are welcomed. One entry per person. New entries only. Acrostic poetry only.

The Richard Snyder Memorial Publication Prize

  • http://ashlandpoetrypress.com/guidelines/snyder-prize
  • April 1, 2016
  • This poetry book series honors the memory of Richard Snyder (1925-1986), poet, fiction writer, playwright, and long-time professor of English at Ashland University. In selecting manuscripts for this series, Ashland Poetry Press editors keep in mind Snyder’s tenacious dedication to craftsmanship and thematic integrity.
    “401 College Ave.
    Ashland, OH 44805”

The Eastern Iowa Review Poetry Prize

  • http://www.portyonderpress.com/eastern-iowa-review-poetry-prize.html
  • April 30, 2016
  • The Eastern Iowa Review Poetry Prize will award three poets a prize for poems that reflect smart writing from a “good spaces” context suitable for a wide audience. No poem length or style restrictions. Prose poems are welcome as are found poems, free verse, haiku, rhyming poems, etc. All poems must be completely unpublished.
    6332 – 33rd Avenue Drive, Shellsburg IA

2016 Indiana Review Poetry

  • Prize http://indianareview.org/contests/
  • April 1, 2016
  • “Send no more than three poems per entry, 8 pages maximum.
    As of September 2014 we no longer accept hard-copy submissions.
    Entrant’s name must not appear on the submission.
    Cover letter must include name, address, phone number, and title. Entrant’s name should appear ONLY in the cover letter.” “Ballantine Hall 529
    1020 E. Kirkwood Ave. Indiana “

THE ANNUAL GULF COAST PRIZE

  • http://gulfcoastmag.org/contests/gulf-coast-prize/
  • April 9, 2016
  • The contest awards publication and $1,500 each to the best poem, essay, and short story, as well as $250 to two honorable mentions in each genre.

The Waterston Desert Writing Prize

  • http://www.writingranch.com/waterston-prize-for-desert-writers/
  • April 1, 2016
  • Now in its second year, the Prize annually honors literary nonfiction that illustrates artistic excellence, sensitivity to place, and desert literacy – with the desert as both subject and setting. Inspired by author and poet Ellen Waterston’s love of the high desert of Central Oregon, a region that has been her muse for more than 30 years, the Prize recognizes the vital role deserts play worldwide in the ecosystem and human narrative. “PO Box 640
    Bend, OR 97709”

Beacon Street Prize

  • http://www.redividerjournal.org/submit/contests/beacon-street-prize/
  • April 30, 2016
  • We launched the Beacon Street Prize in 2012, in honor of our 10th anniversary, and writers and readers responded with such enthusiasm that we now hold it annually. Welcoming submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, the 2016 contest will open February 15 and close April 30.

Binsted Arts Poetry Competition

  • http://www.binsted.org/poetry-comp
  • April 17, 2016
  • Original unpublished poems are invited on the theme:
    A way through the woods

Ver Poets Open Competition

  • 2016 http://verpoets.org.uk/
  • April 30, 2016
  • Poems must be no more than 30 lines in length. They may be on any theme and in any form. The competition is open to anybody aged 16 or over. Competitors may submit any number of poems for a fee of £4.00 per poem, 3 poems for £10, £2 per poem thereafter.
    16th Poetry on the Lake http://www.poetryonthelake.org/page2.php April 30, 2016 “3 categories: Open & Formal (max 40 lines each), Short (max 10 lines)
    Mark category top right of each page. The same poem may be entered in two or more categories
    but will count each time as a separate entry. “

The Very Short Fiction

  • http://www.glimmertrain.com/pages/guidelines/very_short_fiction_guidelines.php
  • April 30, 2016
  • “The Very Short Fiction Contest is open to all writers.
    Any story that has not appeared in a print publication is welcome.
    Maximum length: 3,000 words” “PO Box 80430
    Portland, Oregon 97280 USA”

The Fiction Open

  • http://www.glimmertrain.com/pages/writing_guidelines.php
  • April 30, 2016
  • Open to all subjects, all themes, and all writers. Most entries run from 3,000 to 6,000 words, but any lengths from 3,000 to 20,000 words are welcome. “PO Box 80430
    Portland, Oregon 97280 USA”

2016 New South Writing Contest

  • http://newsouthjournal.com/contest/
  • April 15, 2016
  • This year’s contest will be be judged by Anya Silver in the genre of poetry and Matthew Salesses in the genre of prose. First place winners in each category will be awarded $1,000 prizes; second place winners, $250 prizes; and third place winners, a three-year subscription to New South. Your $15 entry fee also includes a one-year subscription to New South. You may submit electronically via Submittable ONLY.

2016 Frost Farm Prize

  • http://www.frostfarmpoetry.org/prize/
  • April 1, 2016
  • Poems must be original, unpublished and metrical (any metrical form). No translations. There is no limit to the number of poems entered by an individual, but an entry fee of $5 U.S. per poem must accompany the submission. You are welcome to submit a poem sequence (a crown of sonnets for example) but each poem must be entered as a separate file and will be judged individually. “280 Candia Rd.
    Chester, NH 03036”

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

  • https://winningwriters.com/our-contests/tom-howard-john-h-reid-fiction-essay-contest
  • April 30, 2016
  • Welcome to the 24th annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. Submit published or unpublished work. $4,000 in prizes.

Margaret Chase Smith Essay Contest

  • http://www.mcslibrary.org/program/edu/essay.htm
  • April 1, 2016
  • The rules of the contest are minimal. Essays must be typed and double-spaced. Contestants should provide contact information so they can receive notification of final results. Essays should be no longer than 2000 words. Quality of evidence, argumentation, and writing is more important than quantity of pages. “56 Norridgewock Avenue
    Skowhegan, Maine 04976 “

Twelfth International Short Story Contest

  • https://www.firstwriter.com/competitions/short_story_contest/
  • April 1, 2016
  • Welcome to firstwriter.com’s Twelfth International Short Story Contest. This competition is open to fiction in any style and on any subject, up to 3,000 words long.
    LitRejections Short Story Prize http://www.litrejections.com/short-story-prize/ April 4, 2016 “Our inaugural story prize is welcoming submissions from writers around the world for the chance to win cash prizes and publication on our website, a site with over 100 million web hits.
    We would love to read your stories and bring your voice to a wider audience of readers, agents, publishers, authors, and many leading figures from all of the other creative industries, who regularly visit our website www.litrejections.com”

THE LONG ISLAND BOOK FAIR

  • http://www.libookfair.com/
  • April 2 – 3, 2016
  • Featuring Books and Ephemera, with Paper in every category, Prints & Post Cards, too. 720 Northern Blvd. (NY25A) Brookville NY 11549

New York Antiquarian BOOK FAIR

  • http://www.nyantiquarianbookfair.com/
  • April 7-10, 2016
  • From April 7-10, 2016 book lovers will find a fascinating treasure trove at the Park Avenue Armory. Over 200 American and international dealers will exhibit at The ABAA New York Antiquarian Book Fair, bringing a vast selection of rare books, maps, manuscripts, illuminated manuscripts and ephemera. The diversity of specialties includes art, medicine, literature, photography, autographs, first editions, Americana, and much more. “Park Avenue Armory
    643 Park Avenue, New York
    Between 66/67 Streets”

Southern Kentucky Book Fest

  • http://sokybookfest.org/
  • April 23, 2016
  • Southern Kentucky Book Fest is one of the state’s largest literary events and is presented by Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Warren County Public Library, and WKU Libraries. Held annually in April, the Book Fest draws thousands of readers of all ages who welcome the occasion to meet their favorite authors and purchase signed copies of their books. Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101

2016 Virginia Book Fair

  • http://www.virginiabooksellers.org/
  • April 29 – 30, 2016
  • “40 of the country’s finest booksellers under one roof, offering books, manuscripts, maps, autographs, art and ephemera for every taste and budget.
    Admission is free, parking is ample, and the VMFA Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is right next-door (with its award-winning café and restaurant). ” “428 N. Boulevard
    Richmond, Virginia 23220”

Bloomsbury Book Fair

  • http://www.bloomsburybookfair.com/
  • April 10, 2016
  • We welcome our regular dealers PLUS some new faces and Specialist Military Dealers! You can expect dealers in fine and rare books, ephemera specialists, map & print sellers, as well as auctioneers and bookbinders, be sure to mark the date in your diary! “Bedford Way
    London WC1H 0DG”

2016 AWP Conference & Bookfair

  • https://www.awpwriter.org/awp_conference/
  • April 2, 2016
  • The AWP Conference & Bookfair is an essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. Each year more than 12,000 attendees join our community for four days of insightful dialogue, networking, and unrivaled access to the organizations and opinion-makers that matter most in contemporary literature.

The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair

  • http://www.buffalosmallpress.org/
  • April 9-10, 2016
  • The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair is a regional two-day event that brings booksellers, authors, bookmakers, zinesters, small presses, artists, poets, and other cultural workers (and enthusiasts) together in a venue where they can share ideas, showcase their art, and peddle their wares. “Porter Hall
    453 Porter Avenue
    Buffalo, NY”

THE 2016 VIRGIN ISLANDS LITERARY FESTIVAL AND BOOK FAIR

  • https://vilitfest.wordpress.com/
  • April 21-23, 2016
  • The second annual Virgin Islands Literary Festival and Book Fair is set to kick off April 20-23 with events highlighting and celebrating literature’s role in culture and society. “University of the Virgin Islands
    St. Croix Campus”

Blue Ridge Bookfest

  • http://www.blueridge.edu/blueridgebookfest
  • April 22-23, 2016
  • The 2016 Blue Ridge Bookfest is pleased and excited to announce that Novelist Ms. Sara Gruen, author of the widely acclaimed Water for Elephants, will be the 2016 Blue Ridge Bookfest Featured Author. “180 West Campus Dr.
    Technology Education & Development Center
    (TEDC Building)
    Flat Rock, NC 28731”

Ohioana Book Festiva

  • http://www.ohioana.org/programs/ohioana-book-festival/
  • April 23, 2016
  • Since its inception in 2007, the Ohioana Book Festival has given readers the opportunity to connect with their favorite Ohio writers. Held each spring, the Festival welcomes roughly 100 authors and more than 3,000 visitors every year. Capitol Square, 75 E. State St., Columbus, OH 43215

Greater St. Louis Book Fair

  • http://www.stlouisbookfair.org/
  • April 28, 2016
  • Greater St. Louis Book Fair is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most popular charity book sales. For over 60 years, book lovers and collectors have enjoyed bargain prices on a diverse and quality selection of new, gently-used and rare books. Fair proceeds benefit local non-profit education and literacy programs.

Newburyport Literary Festival

  • http://newburyportliteraryfestival.org/
  • April 29-30, 2016
  • Founded in 2005, the Newburyport Literary Association, Inc. will host its eleventh festival April 29th and 30th. PO Box 268 Newburyport, MA 01950

Dayton Book Expo

  • http://www.daytonbookexpo.com/
  • April 30, 2016
  • For the seventh consecutive year, hundreds of book lovers will convene at the Dayton Book Expo. The all-day event includes panel discussions for aspiring authors, activities for children in the Kidz Zone and book signings! The event is free and open to the public. Great Hall – Building 12 444 West Third Street Dayton, Ohio 45402

 

What brings YOU immense joy?

blissI’m not talking about those once-in-a-lifetime moments…  I’m talking about everyday moments…

What brings you immense joy?

Think about it – right here and now, look around you – what brings you immense joy?  What makes you smile?

Joseph Campbell said you should “follow your bliss” but in order to do that, you need to know what your bliss looks like…

Here are just some things off the top of my head that make me smile on a regular basis…

  • Putting God first
  • My Baby Car
  • Beloved Friends
  • Sharing positive thoughts
  • My Clients
  • Making people smile
  • Being in or beside water
  • Sharing my wonderful experiences
  • Music
  • Learning Italian
  • Fireplace and candles
  • Things that appeal to my warped sense of humor
  • Taking photos and sharing them
  • Listening to Abraham
  • Being a girlie-girl
  • Living in the USA & exploring
  • Experiencing Quality
  • Watching Top Gear (both UK & US versions)
  • Great big bed with quality Egyptian sheets & lots of pillows
  • Techy-things & gadgets
  • The beauty of Nature
  • Watching romantic movies that have a happy ending
  • Good red wine
  • Meeting new wonderful, interesting and happy people

We have a choice in every moment to find joy in the simplest of things… and to focus on what makes us happy…

So, my Friend…  What brings YOU immense joy?

Who Inspires You?

inspirationI don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling less than my bright-eyed, bushy-tailed self, rather than talk about it – which only usually makes me feel worse and puts a downer on the day of the poor soul with whom I decided to share my misery – I tend to closet myself away either at home or taking a drive in my beloved car, and immerse myself in watching or listening to inspirational stories from others.

There’s something very powerful about hearing that Jim Carey started with nothing and every night would drive up to Mulholland Drive and ‘imagine’ what his life would be like when he achieved his dreams…

Or hearing the story of JK Rowling who, although she was a single mother and one step away from being homeless, still believed in ‘Harry Potter’ and even prophesized the fact in the first book, “There will be books written about Harry, every child in our world will know his name”.

Or Sara Blakely starting with the last of her savings, and out of her garage creating a business empire that, by 2014, had her listed as the 93rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes Magazine.

Life happens…  We all have our ups and downs – but as Charles Swindoll said, “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.”

I learned some time ago that it’s important to prepare for when those moments of doubt, fear or worry hit – thankfully they don’t hit often, but when they do – to have already a prepared course of action – one I don’t need to think about, but is already there waiting for me…

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.”  Confucius

My course of action?  I created a YouTube playlist of videos that inspire me, motivate me, make me think and make me smile…  From Wallace Wattles’ incredible work, to Will Smith’s thoughts on how to be a success…  This ever-evolving group of videos is my go-to place for inspiration when I need it.

Here’s the link if you’d like to take a look:  bit.ly/youtubeinspiring

Who inspires you and what is your course of action for those moments when you need a dose of whatever it takes to get you our of your slump and back on track?

I’d love to hear your thoughts…

 

 

Image courtesy Hartwig HKD

The Importance of Having a Bucket List (plus here’s a look at mine!)

bucket-list-LSJWhen was the last time you did something you really wanted to do?

Why have a Bucket List?  Most people go through their life as though they have all the time in the world to “one day” do the things they really want to do – and you know what?  Most never do them.

The old adage is true about the cemetery being full of the best books (that were never written because they never found the time to write that book they always dreamed of writing); the most amazing love stories (that were never lived because they never built up the courage to ask the person out or to say “I’m sorry”); the most amazing experiences (that were never experienced because there was always “one day”)…

I often update my Bucket List (that I call a Life List) however recently I did something in addition to that – I wrote out my Life List DONE!  Not just Bucket List items, but also simply amazing experiences I have had – because I decided that “one day” was every chance I get!

What I discovered in writing that list was just how many wonderful memories it brought back simply by going through that exercise – and also just how much I had truly done in my life…

…but I had a special ‘gift’ that many of you do not have…

What is that ‘gift’?  Several years ago I had an illness that was supposed to kill me – and didn’t (I’m stubborn like that).  Thanks to that illness, I realized just how short life really is and how every moment is precious… and I started living each moment to the fullest…

I started paying attention to the beauty in the everyday comings and goings of life…  I started exploring and going places and doing things simply because they sounded interesting or fun…

…and I developed a Life List DONE that inspires me every time I read it.  It contains not only goals and bucket list items, it’s also simply experiences that were ever so cool and that have meant a lot to me.

While you scan my list – reflect on all the incredible things YOU have ALREADY done in your life!

So many times we look at our GOALS and our TO DO lists, and forget just how much we have already accomplished…

…and if you look at my list and think it would cost a lot of money to achieve – perhaps if you did it all at once – and yes, there are a couple of expensive items on the list – but this list is the culmination of the past 10 or 20 years of my life – and also, think about how many incredible experiences you could have, right in your own city – for free…

It’s all about making the most of every moment…

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done…”  Thomas Jefferson

Here in no particular order is my EXPERIENCES ‘DONE’ LIST:

  • Own the Car of My Dreams (her name is Bridgit aka Baby Car and she’s a classic Jaguar convertible I restored who has been my constant travel companion for several years while living in the USA – when preparing to finally leave the States, I donated her to a children’s charity.  I just couldn’t bring myself to ‘sell’ her so I gave her to an organization where she could continue to bring smiles to people…)
  • Traced my family tree back several hundred years and completed the Ancestry DNA analysis (I’m 40% UK, 26% Iberian Peninsula, 21% Scandinavian, 12% Irish and 1% from western Europe) – and am writing a novel based on some of the stories…  Stay tuned!
  • Lived on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Climbed all 272 steps of the Batu Cave Temple in Malaysia (complete with an army of macaque monkeys ‘helping’ every step of the way)
  • Rebuild a Car Engine (twice)
  • Wrap a Snake Around My Neck
  • Stayed two nights in one of America’s most haunted B&Bs
  • Ride in a Tiger Moth
  • Sat beside Walt Disney’s original “Dreaming Tree” on the farm where he grew up – while the original tree has fallen over, the trunk is still there, a sapling from the tree is growing next to it – and the entire field is awe-inspiringly beautiful!  Wild flowers that grow as high as your waist in some places…  It is one of my top 10 spots on the planet.
  • Host Movie Premieres at Warner Bros
  • Walk over Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Host “Going Green” TV show
  • Live in a two-storey villa in a 4.5 star resort with a friend’s 65′ yacht moored at my front door
  • Leave nothing ‘unsaid’
  • Grand Canyon
  • Fly Internationally First Class
  • Mardi Gras Ball
  • Made my living as a Professional Entertainer
  • Find True, Pure, Blissful Joy in pretty much every moment…
  • Live in USA (my dream since I was a small child)
  • Write an Amazon #1 Best-Seller
  • Speak on stage at the United Nations in New York
  • Stay in a luxury vintage rail car at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel (formerly a Victorian-Era rail station)
  • Love Unconditionally
  • Spent Significant Time Touring Through 42 States (so far) – all by Road
  • Fly a Plane
  • I absolutely ADORE what I do for a living!
  • Ride the Incline Railway (world’s steepest)
  • Bring a Stranger Home for Dinner
  • Winter Olympics in Whistler
  • Tombstone, Arizona & OK Corral (where the shootout DIDN’T happen, by the way!!)
  • Angel Oak
  • Drive Across the USA Coast to Coast (several times – and at least 4 times in Bridgit!)
  • Teach at a World’s Top Business School
  • Target Pistol Shooting
  • Forgive and move on
  • Fairy Penguins on Phillip Island
  • Member of various Private Members’ Clubs
  • Visited The Alamo
  • Make a Difference in Someone’s Life
  • Visit Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie in Charleston, South Carolina
  • Visit just about every significant Antebellum Home in the USA
  • Learn Sign Alphabet
  • Catalina Island
  • Own Personalized Private Label Wine
  • Participate in Murder Mystery
  • Spent several inspiring hours at the Georgia Guidestones
  • Tour Historic Philadelphia
  • Hug a Redwood in the Redwood Forest
  • Competition Ballroom Dancing (as a teenager, and won two awards)
  • Tour Stalagmite Caves
  • Mark Twain’s beloved Hannibal Missouri
  • Member of Mensa
  • Visit Cadillac Ranch
  • Gorgeous collection of Jewellery, Shoes, Handbags & Accessories
  • Hiking Through Rainforest
  • Visit the original Laura Ingalls Wilder house
  • Arabia Steamboat Musuem (the largest single collection of pre-Civil War artifacts in the world)
  • Achieve over 50,000 Followers on Twitter (it’s down to around 37K now, and it was a wonderful experience building the following – it’s interesting that once I stopped actively building, the ‘fluff’ fell off and the 35K or so that remain are constant, loyal followers)
  • Own several Civil War Gowns
  • Struck by lightning – and obviously lived to tell the tale!  Actually, the lightning hit the roof of the garage I was in and went through the power line to the charger cable that was beside me – the spark arced from the cable to my leg, causing a weird burn/bruise-like injury, my hair stood on end, my heart started beating to a very different drum!  Not only that, but it fried the wiring in the garage and even literally ‘blew up’ the automatic sprinkler controller on the wall – we found pieces everywhere!
  • Daily Full-page “Life with Leigh” series in Major Metro Newspaper
  • Own a grand piano
  • Visit Parkes Observatory
  • Treat a Person who is Homeless to Thanksgiving Feast (I do this most every year)
  • Live with Private Beach at my Doorstep
  • Been on stage with Jay Leno
  • Tour Historic Newport
  • Win Awards for my Photography
  • Build a Snowman
  • Ruby Falls
  • Visit Painted Desert in New Mexico
  • Fishbowl Margarita in El Paso
  • Willard Hotel in Washington
  • Visit Churchill Downs (Home of Kentucky Derby)
  • Sailing on a tall ship
  • Attend Private Event in US House of Representatives
  • Shopping on Rodeo Drive
  • Sing for a Living
  • Route 66
  • Drive entire length of Historic Route 1 / Hwy 101 from Mexico to Canada
  • Civil Rights Museum in Lorraine Hotel
  • Swim Naked Under the Stars in a beautiful a lake
  • Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Danced/Played the giant piano in FAO Swartz in New York
  • Met the Principals of the Russian Bolshoi Ballet & had front row seats
  • Elvis Presley Aircraft Museum
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame (no, I’m not ON it, I just walked along it)
  • Watch the sun rise and set at the horizon while at the Beach (obviously not at the same beach!  LOL!)
  • Natural Bridge in Virginia
  • Historic Santa Monica Pier
  • Four-wheeling over monster sand-dunes
  • Host “Achievers and Unsung Heroes” TV & radio shows
  • Victor Borge 80th Birthday concert
  • Monticello
  • Horseback Riding through Antebellum Plantation
  • Nashville
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Off-Roading Through Monster Sand Dunes
  • Ride the L train in Chicago
  • Crater Lake
  • Build a smart-phone app (several)
  • Attend a Rodeo
  • Travel Through Asia
  • Manage a Charity Feeding Homeless Children
  • Stay in Eco-Friendly Cavallo Point, California
  • Attend a Cirque de Soleil show in Vegas
  • Guest Soloist with Sydney Conservatory Choir
  • Attend Revolutionary & Civil War Re-Enactments
  • Go on a Blind Date
  • New Years Eve on Sydney Harbor
  • Churn Butter By Hand
  • Survive an Illness that was supposed to kill me
  • Conquered fear of Public Speaking (and a good thing, too, given that I chose to go into the field of media and entertainment!)
  • Herd Cattle
  • Contact someone I don’t know who also has my name
  • Tour Royal Selangor Pewter Factory in Kuala Lumpur
  • Buy something at an Auction
  • Attend College Football Game (LSU @ Tiger Stadium) & Tail-gating
  • Ride an Elephant
  • Visit Grant Park in Chicago
  • Do something ‘big’ completely on faith
  • Lead in Musical Theater
  • Study Artificial Intelligence at Stanford (for fun)
  • Niagara Falls (& also did a horse-drawn carriage ride in middle of winter – stunning!)
  • Daily Successfully manage several health ‘challenges’ that sometimes slow me down but never stop me…
  • Own AV Studio
  • Reverse a Trailer Around an Obstacle Course
  • Stayed AirBnB
  • Cuddle a Koala
  • Ride in a Tuk Tuk
  • Live in Las Vegas
  • Co-Host Drive Time on Major Commercial Radio Station
  • Explore a Completely Uninhabited Ghost Town
  • Ate squirrel and rabbit gumbo (where both critters were shot on the same premises they were cooked and eaten – certainly an ‘interesting’ experience but not one I recommend! (for you or the squirrel!))
  • Do several ‘staycations’ where you stay in a hotel in your city and be a tourist in your own town
  • July 4th on the Water in Savannah, Georgia
  • Attended a Louisiana Cajun Boucherie
  • Butterfly Park in Kuala Lumpur
  • Attended an international IndyCar race
  • Visit all Smithsonian Buildings in Washington
  • Swim in a Tea Tree Lake
  • Adopt a Rescue Dog
  • Attend International Surfing Competitions (not as a competitor!)
  • Eat Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia
  • Hoover Dam
  • Row 6 – Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge Tour
  • Snorkled on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Dropped 75lb after putting it on during an illness (and currently working on achieving my dream body)
  • Camping By Myself – beside a lake… it was magical!
  • Jekyl Island
  • Start a Non-Profit
  • Visit ‘The General’ in Kennesaw Mountains
  • Ride a Greyhound Bus across several States (boy, was that an experience!)
  • Build Websites
  • Entertain elderly people at a nursing home
  • Shear a Sheep
  • Build several businesses (some were successes – some were monumental failures – although thankfully there were more of the former than the latter!)
  • Natchez Pilgrimage
  • Play Bocce
  • Continually Learn about Quantum Physics
  • Windsor Ruins
  • Create My Own Family Crest
  • Get caught in a dust storm with zero visibility (Ok, so not something I planned, but experience worthy of the list)
  • Biltmore
  • Attend an Event with International Heads of State
  • Hold a Tarantula
  • Stayed in a number of glorious vintage hotels
  • Attend Renaissance Festival
  • Front-row-center at Don McLean concert
  • Shucking Oysters Fresh from the Fire at an Oyster Roast
  • Spend a whole day at a luxury spa, then elegant dinner and a show
  • Sailing
  • Study at Stanford
  • Discover my signature perfume
  • Hole in One (OK, so it was mini-golf!)
  • Magnificent Historic Charleston, South Carolina
  • Picnics are usually 5 Star with Vintage Crystal Glasses & Estate Silverware
  • Teach Someone who is Illiterate to Read
  • New Year’s Eve on the river in Savannah, Georgia
  • Eat possibly the world’s best Lobster Slider – Plymouth (near ‘the rock’)
  • Used Limousines as primary method of transport
  • Toured a submarine
  • Visit New Zealand
  • Attend a Polo Match
  • Visit Times Square
  • Learn CPR
  • Bought a quality western cowboy (or should that be cowgirl) hat and had it custom-fitted (I love bespoke experiences like that!)
  • Drive in Celebrity Speedway Race
  • Catalina Island
  • French Quarter in New Orleans
  • Lasik Eye Surgery
  • Boat License
  • San Antonio Riverwalk
  • Met Masaru Emoto
  • Jet-boating
  • Brewed Beer
  • Atalaya Castle
  • Be a Ghost-Writer
  • Shoot a Bow & Arrow
  • Attend Zulu Lundi Gras
  • Regularly Send Handwritten Notes with Wax-Sealed Envelope, Written with Fountain Pen
  • Learn to Throw a Clay Pot
  • Bowl a 200+ game
  • Donate Blood
  • Aspen
  • Historic Vicksburg
  • Experience a Real White Christmas
  • Mount Vernon
  • Toured an aircraft-carrier
  • Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero Blues Club
  • Milk Cows both by Hand and Machine
  • Live on a Yacht for a Week
  • Go on a Hay Ride
  • (ref scene in Pretty Woman) Had lunch at Bar at the Beverley Wilshire (they’ve redecorated since the movie)
  • Dined at the Boat House in Central Park

(I update this list (both done and to do) every few months)

…and here is the (much shorter) Bucket List of items still to do… (again in no particular order).

  • Become healthy enough to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in 2017
  • Daily continue to see the beauty and enjoy the bliss…
  • Continue to make a difference and help people achieve their dreams…
  • Be a volunteer at “il Club di Guilietta” (ref ‘Letters to Juliet’)
  • Continue to explore my ancestry, including visiting places from which they originated
  • Be the voice for an animated feature film
  • Achieve the body of my dreams
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Develop a fictional character I love and publish stories about her journeys
  • Live in a Marina (again)
  • Meet and fall mutually in love with the Man of my Dreams
  • Help a family who is homeless to get a job, a home and a new life
  • San Francisco Cable Car
  • Private Plane (I don’t want one, I just want to travel in one if I need to fly anywhere)
  • Learn to better appreciate wine
  • Be a writer for “Huffington Post”
  • Speak Italian and French (I don’t need to be fluent, just enough to understand and to be understood)
  • Swim with Dolphins
  • Attend all three Triple Crown events – Private Box
  • Build a Labyrinth
  • Visit every US state (42 down – 8 to go…)
  • Continue to facilitate inspiring events…
  • Natural Hot Springs
  • Really explore Napa Valley
  • Pike’s Market
  • Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Stonehenge
  • Develop a range of inspirational books, journals, items etc from my photography
  • Coliseum
  • Monaco
  • Machu Pichu
  • Mud Bath
  • Produce inspiring short films
  • Heart Castle
  • Coral Castle
  • Santorini
  • Tour ~ and stay in ~ castles across the UK and Europe
  • Major art and architectural icons through Europe
  • Coney Island
  • Vienna
  • Venice
  • Vintage Rail Tours including Orient Express & Pullman Tours
  • Greek Islands
  • Austria
  • Disneyland
  • Switzerland
  • Easter Island
  • Rome
  • Kiss passionately in the rain
  • Athens
  • Loch Ness
  • Tuscany
  • ‘Nights in Rodanthe’ House
  • Record an album
  • Horseback riding on the beach
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Build a water feature
  • Fly in a helicopter
  • Go on a cruise
  • See icebergs up close
  • Buy jewelry at Tiffany & Co.
  • Horseback riding in the snow
  • Regularly make something with my own hands
  • Christmas Caroling
  • Edgar Cayce Museum
  • Martha’s Vineyard
  • Narraganset Rune Stone
  • Make a Kiva loan
  • Nantucket
  • View a piece of Harry Winston jewelry up close and personal
  • Cape Cod
  • Stay at a Dude Ranch
  • Upperville Horse Show
  • Winchester House
  • Chateau Montelena
  • Newport Tower
  • TCM Cruise as a VIP
  • White Pass and Yukon Railway (Skagway AK to Whitehorse, Canada)
  • Continue to regularly attend exhibitions at the Smithsonian

I’m certain I’ve missed a number of items – and I am constantly adding to it… although the one that is most up to date is on my Luxurious Nomad site – here’s the link:  http://luxuriousnomad.com/bucket-list/

So, why have a Bucket List?

When I finally do meet my Maker, I want to be able to honestly say I lived my life to the fullest – that I used my passions – that I was of service to others – that I made people (and myself) smile – and that I didn’t wait for “one day” that never came…

This list is my inspiration to live the life of my dreams…

What’s yours?