We all know what a bucket list is. It is a list of things you want to do before you die, (or kick the bucket). For the first time I have considered making a bucket list. Not because I’m dying, but because I found something that I want to do bad enough before I die. About two years ago exactly, I published Mr. Darcy’s Promise.
I had no idea how successful it would be. My only hope was that I made back what I invested in paying an editor as well as what I paid for the painting I had made for the cover. As the sales started trickling in, I was astounded at what an amazing group of JAFF followers there are out there who are wanting the next latest and greatest retelling of Darcy and Elizabeth. I’m afraid to admit it, but before I published my book, I thought I was one of the few obsessive ones out there, but I was shocked when I sold thousands in the first month! Could there really be this wonderful community of people who understands me and my Darcy addiction?
So two months later when I got my first royalty check, I tried to decide what to do with it. The very first thing I did was set money aside to publish the next book, Pride and Persistence.
The very next thing I did was set up separate savings accounts for each of my three daughters and placed several hundred dollars in them. Why? Because I had made a bucket list. Well, sort of. I only had one thing on my list. But I was desperate to mark it off and I was going to do anything to do so. So little by little, I deposited money into each of the girl’s accounts. Some months it was 50$ and other times it was 300$, but a portion of my royalties were set aside for this lone goal. I recently asked myself if it could really be called a bucket list since it really only had one thing on the list. I made an executive decision that, yes, it could be called a list. From there I started wondering what other things I wanted to do in what time period. So I found this cute “Summer Bucket list” and thought it would be fun to share with you all. Maybe you can put it on your fridge and mark as many things off as you can this summer.
As the time approached to mark this item off my single item list, I found I was going to be short on my saving goal. So I started working extra shifts, A LOT of extra shifts. I am just now getting off a stretch of 12 night shifts in 14 days. It is insane, but I met my saving goal and will be rewarded greatly! In the middle of all these shifts, I published my fourth book, Inspired by Grace, and worked like mad to get the blog tour ready and organized. My computer is my nemesis, as well as the cell phone that keeps dinging with some issue that needs my immediate attention. So since I was so busy that I would change laundry when I woke up to pee (you think I am kidding, but I am not!!!!) I found these little dings and emails and internet searches were irritating me. So, I added something to my bucket list. This is what I added. I have yet to check this off, but I will, hopefully, soon.
So i purposely did not disclosed what was the single item on the bucket list.
I only have one word
I wanted to see London, and Hyde Park, and Lyme Park, and Chatsworth and Lyme Regis, and Stonehenge and walk the streets of Bath. I wanted to feel the culture that I write about! Yes, I am American, and probably one of the most common critiques I get in my writing, is that I jaw Americanisms or that my wording can sound modern at times. Go figure! I’m a modern American! But in all seriousness, I knew that if I had a good taste of the environment and was able to touch and caress the culture that British people take for granted, then maybe it would assist my writing. That is right: I am going to England for research purposes. And if you buy that line, there is some ocean front property in Utah that I can sell you.
So as the vacation approached, I realized that there was not a single item on my bucket list anymore. The more I researched, the more I added to the list. Some of them are fun. Like these.
The more I asked around, the more things I wanted to fit in. So I realized that my original 9-10 day vacation was not nearly going to be enough time to really see what I wanted to see. My oldest daughter graduated and will be leaving this fall for college, and so all along I knew I would be bringing them along with me to England. The more I talked with them about the things they wanted to do, the more I realized that this vacation could be no shorter than 2 weeks! So I booked my tickets, reserved my hotels, and made a detailed itinerary for while we are there in June. I am going to England with my girls for two weeks!!!! Can’t tell you how excited I am! In fact, we will be touring the Tate Modern and taking pictures of Big Ben and Buckingham Palace at the time this blog is published. I will apologize ahead of time because I probably will not have time to answer your comments, but I will make sure to read them in case you all have suggestions of must-sees and gotta-dos before we depart from England.
We will for sure do all these things. We will see the Warner Brothers tour of Harry Potter, as well as seeing a play at Shakespeare Globe.
Anyone who follows my personal Facebook knows I post a lot of funny stuff about reading and writing. Sometimes it is 100% truth spoken in the perfect meme.
Other times it mocks my addiction to reading and writing. But I came across this link that you have got to see. Click on the words and you will see the most awe-inspiring pictures of the perfect hang out––,Library Bars! When I found this, I quickly added this to my London bucket list. I look at some of these places and I feel a sense of reverence. This would be such a fun way to spend tea time some afternoon. I may even pack my leather-bound Emma or the copy of Jane Eyre that I received for Mother’s Day. Trust me when I say that this will probably be one of the most memorable moments while in London! Personally, I like 1, 4, 8, and 14. Which ones do you like?
Library Bars in London
This blog has become very long, but I am feel I must close with a call for must-sees and gotta-dos because I know there are a lot of people who visited in England. So here is what we are doing I am flexible with what is on my bucket list so tell me what I should add to it!
My Brilliant England Bucket List
London: The London Eye and river cruise, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, British Museum, Tate Modern, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Science Museum, WB Studios Harry Potter, National History Museum, Hyde Park, National Gallery, West End Play
Chawton and Alton: Jane Austen Regency Week including a ball and book signing and tea and reading of Persuasion
Magna Carta Celebration in Old Serum
Stonehenge and Stourhead Gardens (Site of 2005 Huntsford Gazebo proposal)
Bath: Holburne Museum, Royal Crescent/Circus landmark, Pulteney Bridge, Roman bath/Abbey church yard/pump room, Sally Lunn museum, Parade gardens, Victoria art gallery
Lyme Park (1995 Pemberley)
Chatsworth (2005 Pemberley) including a rythym and blues concert of Jooles Holland on the grounds of Chatsworth with a picnic and fireworks in the evening.
It doesn’t seem like 2 weeks will be enough, does it?
That just means I have to come back! Comment and let me know if there is something on my list that you have on yours. Did I miss something that should be on there? If so, what? I would like to give an eBook of Inspired by Grace
to two lucky winners who will be chosen at random once I get back from England. Double entry for anyone that suggests something that I actually add to the bucket list!
Hey Lady Publications