estes park

Top 5 On My Bucket List

We all have one (or we should). A bucket list. That list of things we want to do/experience/accomplish before we kick the bucket.

I love the idea of a bucket list because it means that, right up to the end, you never stop trying new things or looking for new experiences. I was lucky enough to grow up with parents who loved to travel, to experience other cultures, to try new things, and encouraged us to do so as well. I’ve continued that practice into my adult life. As you can imagine, my bucket list is a long one. 

I don’t number them or have them in any particular order though. And I should mention that travel is a huge part of my list. I’ve mentioned one below, but there’s also Australia/New Zealand, Austria, Holland, Iceland, Brazil, Egypt, Greece, the Galapagos, more time in Japan, Russia, and many many other places. Still, for fun, I tried to figure out my top 5.

TOP 5 BUCKET LIST

5. Photo Safari in Kenya

I’ve wanted to go to Africa and see those amazing animals and the beautiful (and varied) topography for ages. I’d love to experience some of the (safer) cultures and try the food and be out in the quiet of the plains or see the jungles. But especially those animals. I’ve seen them in zoos, but no way is that the same.

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4. Find the Best Dessert Ever

Okay, so this is a weird one. But I LOVE dessert. I find the best one at every restaurant I visit. I figure, with all the traveling, I have many more to try, right? So far, the one to beat is the Triple Pot de Crème at Back Bistro in Folsom, CA. I’m actually not a creme brulee person, but this isn’t exactly creme brulee. It’s the creme part of vanilla custard then covered by a layer of caramel, and then dark chocolate ganache and sea salt. It is incredible.

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3. Support Myself as an Author

I love my dream of being an author, I’ve crossed so many accomplishments and goals off my bucket list over the last 10 years. More than that, I am so, so lucky that I get to pursue it full time. For now. But I won’t be able to keep this up if I can’t make it contribute to my family. It doesn’t have to be huge. I’m not looking to be the next Nora Roberts or multi-million earning writer. But an income that contributes… it’s the only way I get to keep doing this. To me, this means continuing to work on my craft and keep publishing the best works I can, and pray that the luck side of this business comes my way.

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2. Live in Estes Park, CO

I’ve wanted this as long as I can remember. Convincing my husband to retire there might take some work. Leaving friends to move would also be hard. It would be awesome if the lottery could strike and, boom, vacation home where we can stay a lot!

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1. Meet My Great Grandkids

I want to live long enough to see my kids live through major life moments–prom, high school graduation, going to college, getting married, and having children. But I’m selfish. I want to see this for my grandkids too. And to meet my great grandkids. I got to know my great grandmother until I was 12. Hearing about and imagining her life, and knowing she touched mine, is one of my favorite life experiences. I’d love to have it again, on the other side.

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Those are my top 5 (for now). What about you? What’s one your bucket list?

Summer Insanity is Almost Over

On August 17th, the kids go back to school, and our fantastic but totally nutty summer comes to an end. Boy did it fly. I find it funny that the advent of school will actually slow us down. Here’s what happened over the last few months, starting at the end of May!

Estes Park, Colorado

We spent 10 days at my favorite place in the world doing all my favorite things. Spending time with family, hiking, eating, shopping. Loved it! Nothing better in the world IMO.

Book Release–The Wrong Kind of Compatible by Kadie Scott

My first romantic comedy, The Wrong Kind of Compatible, under my Kadie Scott pen name, released with Entangled on June 12th. I’ve been thrilled with the feedback and really enjoyed all the release festivities (blog tour, Facebook take overs, Facebook parties, etc.)

Birthday Parties

We celebrated birthdays for kids, parents, and friends over the course of the summer. February through July for us is insane birthday season. Now we have a “break.”

Dallas & St. Louis

We visited my hubby’s fam in Dallas and all drove up to St. Louis together for a lovely family wedding. We also did all sorts of fun things, including a Cardinals game!

Signed Entangled Contract–Inferno Rising

I signed a contract with Entangled for a 4-book paranormal romance series, tentatively titled “Inferno Rising” under my Abigail Owen pen name. This one I contracted on proposal, and I am obsessing over it. The world is so alive in my head! #TheDragonsAreComing!

Summer Camp

My oldest went to summer camp which involved transporting him to Dallas. And then heading back up there a week later for the parent presentations and to pick him up. It was a STEM camp and they did cool things like learn to be a CSI, build and program a robot car, and dissect a cow’s heart. Super cool.

Time with Bro & Fam

My brother and his family lived in our house all summer. They are between digs at the moment, and they house sat and watched our dogs while we were gone so much. In between trips we got to spend a lot of wonderful time with them.

California Friends

We went back to our old home in El Dorado Hills, CA to visit friends there. We got up to Lake Tahoe for a day, and otherwise took it easy and had a blast seeing our buddies. That’s what I miss most about CA…our friends.

Writing Inferno Rising Book #1

I signed that contract and have been writing book 1 since June. I’ve finished the first draft and am working on second draft right now. Close to 85k words done with 90k being the goal. Seriously, when I say obsessing, I mean it. I am deep in this on and LOVING it!

Editing

Lots of editing going on at the same time. A combo of working on proposals for new books, and working with my editor on The Attraction Equation (book 2 in my Kadie Scott Love Undercover romantic comedy series).

RWA in Orlando & Disney

In July I attended RWA Nationals in Orlando, rooming with my buds Nicole and Tracy, attending workshops, giving one of own workshops, etc. Had a BLAST! And rounded it out with a day at The Magic Kingdom.

 

Placed 2nd in PRISM Awards

My paranormal romance novella, Her Demigod Complex, placed 2nd in the PRISM Awards for novella! Honored and thrilled to even be a finalist. Thank you so much to FF&P for running such a fantastic contest.

AOAD Business Growing

Authors On a Dime continues to grow and grow. I’m getting lots of great business. Anything from book covers (probably what I do the most), to other marketing graphics, to editing, to Facebook parties. Love working with all those fantastic authors and having a different creative outlet!

RVing at Krause Springs

We rented an RV and went to Krause Springs, TX for a few days to “relax.” And it was lovely. The kids had a blast. Other than the cottonmouth snakes and the big thunderstorm that rolled through the last night, so did we! 🙂

Prepping for School

With only a week to go, I’m now deep in prep for school time. This includes cleaning my entire house. Doing a ton of laundry (remember we’ve been traveling all summer). Buying school clothes. Getting kids hair cuts. A massive grocery shopping (again, all that being away from home). And my daughter wants me to help her start and Endangered Animals Club this year.

Phew!

I’ll be sad to not have the kids to myself during the day, but returning to a routine and slowing down a bit will be nice. We had a wonderful summer, enjoying each and every trip. But I will say it was a little too much. Next year we’re limiting ourselves and spending more time at home. Lol. I hope you also had a wonderful summer, and, if you’re like me and prepping for back to school, best of luck to you!