Every year I make a list for my birthday. Then I try to cross off as many things as I can. I’m always surprised by how many I do achieve; often it’s the outliers and far fetched ones that end up miraculously manifesting. Others seem to show up again and again as works in progress. I’m never discouraged by the things I don’t finish, for I often find myself looking back on previous lists, and realize that though something maybe didn’t happen in a particular year–many do happen sooner or later.
There’s a chapter in my book about writing lists. I think there’s magic in the process. Listing for something makes it so much more likely to become real. And every year I’m reminded of this as I’ve had friends and strangers email me with opportunities to make items on my list come true.
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1. Buy a pair of turquoise tights 2. Receive a huge bouquet of ranunculus 3. Help someone harvest honey 4. Run 15 miles a week 5.
Drive less 6. Use reusable bags at the grocery store every time 7. Teach a creative workshop 8. Teach a writing class 9. Submit 5 pieces of writing 10. Nurture creative collaborations 11. Host a creative interview series on my blog 12. Host monthly dinner parties for friends 13. Cultivate habits that sustain my work 14. Spend more time on the Pacific 15. Spend a weekend in a cabin with just T 16. Save for the big things 17. Go camping with the boys this summer 18. Read a half dozen of the great American novels I never read in high school 19. Clean out closets and give away extraneous stuff 20. Let self care be a priority 21. Focus on the essentials: pair down, give away, simplify 21. Start small. 22. Sketch weekly. 23. Become conversant in French 24. Learn to fish-tail braid my hair 25. Get back in the pottery studio + throw some bowls 26. Send postcards 27. Take Bean to the Natural History Museum 28. Ride a carousel 29. Take a paragliding lesson 30. Go to bed earlier more often 31. Learn the Lindy Hop 32. Wear more stripes 33. Acquire a pair of cowboy boots 34. Night swimming in natural water 35. Read poems before bed daily 36. Go flyfishing.
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Including “Leave The Country”
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Including “Visits With Faraway Friends”
1) 1) Snowboard blue squares. 2) Sign a book deal. 3) Go car camping this summer. 4) Host a fabulous 4th of July party for friends. 5) Use twitter’s list feature. 6) Log 500 miles on my bike this spring/summer.(Close: logged 439) 7) Run with friends. 8) Attract prosperity. 9) Make industry connections. 10) Watch “500 Days Of Summer” and “Lars & The Real Girl.” 11) Make face to face visits with faraway friends happen. 12) Write more love letters to my boys. 13) Do another tiny art tag sale. 14) Be featured in Seven Days. 15) Make my father’s handwriting into a font. 16) Go ice skating. 17) Submit a magazine feature. 18) Croissants: from scratch. With chocolate filling.19) Attend a creative conference or workshop. 20) 5 pull-ups. 21) Go to Quebec with just T.(Close: Went to Boston instead.) 22) Start learning French. 23) Leverage my creative capital. 25) Become an SEO ninja. 26) Make an awesome new workout mix. 28) Finish photo albums from 2009 + 2010. 29) Take pictures with my Holga + new Polaroid cameras. 30) Hike Smugglers Notch. 31) Paint the rooster series I have in my head. 32) Read a poem (ALMOST) every day. 33) Take a trip to the ocean. 34) Say yes.
>> Past lists here.
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Including “Finish My First Book”
1) Launch & get funding for A Field Guide For Now. 2) Go to some local galleries. 3) Write some query letters. 4) Read/re-read every book on this list. 5) Plant berry bushes. 6) Learn CSS. 7). Finish A Field Guide To Now manuscript. 8 ) Hike Mt. Mansfield. 9 ) Go for a family bike ride. 10) Make a big deal out of friends & loved one’s birthdays. 11) Attend a writer’s conference. 12) Start the process of going back to school. 13) Make croissants from scratch. 14) Go to the Biodome in Montreal this summer. 15) Plant peonies. 16) Work on my abs. 17) Throw a garden party with pretty lights and fun drinks. 18.) Buy a vintage cake stand. 19) Wear dresses more. 20) Take risks with fashion. 21) Organize the basement. 22) Go mountain biking this summer. 23) Multiple streams of income. 24) Ride a train with the boys. 25) Go camping with friends. 26) Go to the local farmer’s market regularly. 27) Submit five short stories. 28.) Buy a new bikini. 29) Build a greenhouse with recycled windows. 30) Complete some new canvases. 31) Become adept at Photoshop. 32) Go to a museum. 33) Remember: “What if there is no emergency?”
32 Before 32
Including “Start Keeping A Notebook”
. Read the New Yorker cover to cover often. 2. Learn to bake bread 3. Go berry picking. 4. Build Bean a treehouse. 5. Attend a writer’s conference 6. Submit some stories. 7. Stick with a regular writing routine. 8. Start keeping a Molskine notebook again. 9. Go to a drive-thru movie with DH this summer. 10. Bike the state of VT 11. Run a 5k 12. Frame & hang family photos in the hallway. 13. Take Bean fishing 14. Plant seed starts. 15. Keep a nature journal. 16. Go camping with the boys. 17. Roast marshmallows in the back yard by the fire with the boys. 18. Paint some big canvasses. 19. Teach Bean to swim. 20. Book manuscript: finish it. 21. Plant sunflowers and hollyhocks and zinnias. 22. Spend a weekend in Quebec in the summer. 23. Get a season ski pass and take on black diamonds. 24. Send paper mail more often. 25. T ake the boys to the jazz festival. 26. Get back in the pottery studio. 27. Take Bean rock climbing. 28. See some classic movies. 29. Go dancing. 30. Learn to make pasta from scratch. 31. Make an organized submissions calendar. 32. Go to a concert.
Also check out my: Mighty Life List.