Kaylin’s Bucket List

cleaning_service_bucket_with_sponges_chemicals_bottles_and_cg1p70148695c_thIf you don’t live your days by goals and plans, chances are you spend most of your time caught up in a flurry of day-to-day activities and self-imposed obligations that you can’t seem to complete, no matter how hard you try. Do you ever feel that your days are passing you by without any tangible output to speak of? What did you accomplish in the past 3 months? What are your upcoming goals for the next 8 months? Look at the things you did and the things you’re planning to do next — Do they mean anything to you if you were to die today? Having a bucket list reminds you of what’s really important so you can act on them.

Even if you frequently live by goals or to-do lists, they are probably framed within a certain social context e.g. performance, career, health. A bucket list opens up the context. It’s a forum to set anything and everything you’ve ever wanted to do, whether it’s big, small or random.

It’s just like planning ahead all the highlights you want for YOUR whole life. 😀 Even though goal setting is already my staple activity, I still found many new things to do while I was writing on my own list. It was an incredibly insightful exercise. What’s more, coming up with my list gave me a whole new layer of enthusiasm knowing what’s in store ahead!

The objective of creating this list isn’t to instill some kind of a race against time or to create aversion toward death. I don’t see our existence to be limited to just our physical years on earth — I don’t see our existence to be limited to just our physical years on earth — our physical lifespan is but a short speck of our existence in the universe.

The whole point of creating your list is to maximize every moment of our existence and live our life to the fullest. It’s a reminder of all the things we want to achieve in our time here, so that instead of pandering our time in pointless activities, we are directing it fully toward what matters to us. So with this in mind, here is my current bucket list. Things that I long to do before taking my last breath:

  1. Travel: I have literally been around the world via airplanes and cruise ships, but there are still a few places I’d love to see in this lifetime. These unique locations include: Chile, India, Cuba, Argentina, Egypt and Finland.
  2. Experiences: Keeping in mind some of these countries, imagine journeying the entire length of Chile’s Pacific coastline. You’d start in the lunar-like Atacama Desert and end in a land of water and ice, as the country splinters away to the Tierra del Fuego — a gateway to Antarctica. In between lie the Lake District’s volcanoes, valleys blanketed with vineyards, and the stark mountains and rock formations of Patagonia’s Torres del Paine. Then, far away from the mainland, seemingly marooned in the ocean, is enigmatic Easter Island. India, Cuba, Argentina and Egypt are easy when it comes to adventures. There are hundreds of things to experience there: visit the Taj Mahal, taste Havana rum, meet gauchos, and view pyramids. But nothing beats sleeping under the Northern Lights in a glass igloo and sledding with reindeer in snow-covered Finland. Or snorkeling in the glaciers of Iceland. Now that’s what I call fun!
  3. Personal Fitness: I’m notorious for savoring wine, eating on the run, snacking while writing, and taste testing dinner so I can get to the yummy desserts (especially if chocolate is involved). Exercise is the last thing on my mind every day, especially when I wakeup and remember a dozen things that need to be addressed. But the only way to fit back into the new wardrobe I recently bought is by shaving off a few pounds, reducing my wine intake and eating sensibility. So my list needs to include a healthy regiment and fewer trips to the plastic surgeon’s office for botox and liposuction procedures.
  4.  Mentoring: Obviously, teaching is one of the most rewarding things we can do. No matter how old you are, even if you are in your teens, you are always in the position to mentor someone else — perhaps someone who is more junior than you or someone who is older but can benefit from a particular expertise you have. Mentoring others is also a great way for you to develop yourself too and to share your abilities with others. So maybe it’s time for me to reach out and offer up some writing tips and advice to others.

Do you have a bucket list? A collection of dreams you’d like to turn into reality? As I’ve learned after losing wonderful people to diseases and tragic accidents, life is much shorter than we imagine, so don’t wait too long to act. Find ways to make yourself happy and to push yourself beyond your limits and comfort zone. The memories you’ll be left with are the material stories are made of, whether they be written down or told time and again.

Kaylin’s Spring 2012 Newsletter

Spring is when life’s alive in everything. —Christina Rossetti

Greetings Readers and Good Friends:

Months have slipped away in the blink of an eye and left me with so much to catch up on, and since this is the third year anniversary of my first newsletter, I felt it appropriate to begin my new quarterly updates with a Spring edition. Keeping this in mind, I’m excited to announce some wonderful, new developments. After a two-year pregnancy and excruciating labor, I’m proud to announce the delivery of my latest novel, Severed Threads. The last typed words in this novel were met with a box of Turtle chocolates and my favorite bottle of Merlot, which has become my routine after writing projects cross the finish line. This first attempt at romantic suspense has already been met with several first place awards, including the Utah RWA 2009 Great Beginnings Contest and Music City Romance Writers Melody of Love Contest. (Egad! That’s how long this one’s been in the mixer!!) In any event, it’s time to turn this baby loose (July 1st, to be exact) and move on to Book Two in my new adventure series…hopefully, at a much quicker pace.

The second bit of good news is the fact that my only unwed daughter is exchanging vows with her best friend and fiancée, Sam Watson, on Cinco de Mayo. I couldn’t be happier for Erika and, as her non-conformist beliefs remain consistent in all manners of her existent, we will be traveling to a remote town at the most southern tip of Mexico to witness her nuptials. Such fun! Especially when it comes to transporting loved ones and my 86-year-old mother to four airports before arriving at our final destination.

Lastly, I now have a second home in beautiful San Diego where I love to write and have opportunities to squeeze out my raincoat from rainy Portland weather on a regular basis. Located above Mission Bay, I’m blest with the ability to enjoy all the activity in the harbor and the amazing skylines in the evening. This location originally inspired me to write Severed Threads and is definitely keeping me sane…and considerably drier.

Now it’s time to take notes, as I’m about to recommend some great Spring reading – all of which I’ve personally enjoyed.

The Long Song by Andrea Levy – This novel was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and long listed for the Orange Prize – and for good reason. Set in Jamaica during the last turbulent years of slavery and the early years of freedom that followed, The Long Song is breathtaking, hauntingly beautiful, heartbreaking and totally absorbing. You will not be able to put this book down!

In the Place of Justice by Wilbert Rideau – In 1961, at the age of nineteen, young, black, eighth-grade dropout, Wilbert Rideau, despaired of the dead-end and small-town future his life held for him. He set out to rob the local bank and in an ill-conceived out and bungled robbery he killed the bank teller – a young, white female. He was arrested and gave a full confession at the local police station while angry mobs chanted ‘kill that nigger’ outside. From this beginning, where we meet Rideau, newly sentenced to death row, he starts on an extraordinary journey. One that begins in the most violent prison in America, where brutality, years spent in solitary confinement, sexual slavery and local politics govern and confine many in ways that bars alone cannot. The ending to this compelling book is like nothing you will have read before, full of breathtaking suspense and gripping, gritty realism, a heartbreaking, emotionally wrought and magical ending to Rideau’s prison life is skillfully and vigorously evoked. This is a powerful and inspirational memoir unlike any other, one that is sure to question our expectations of prisoners and the role of jails in rehabilitating them.

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth – Jennifer Worth came from a sheltered background when she became a midwife in the Docklands in the1950s.The conditions in which many women gave birth just half a century ago were horrifying, not only because of their grimly impoverished surroundings, but also because of what they were expected to endure. But while Jennifer witnessed brutality and tragedy, she also met with amazing kindness and understanding, tempered by a great deal of Cockney humor. She also earned the confidences of some whose lives were truly stranger, more poignant and more terrifying than could ever be recounted in fiction. Attached to an order of nuns who had been working in the slums since the 1870s, Jennifer tells the story not only of the women she treated, but also of the community of nuns (including one who was accused of stealing jewels from Hatton Garden) and the camaraderie of the midwives with whom she trained. Funny, disturbing and incredibly moving, Jennifer’s stories bring to life the colorful world of the East End in the 1950s.

LOST IN TRANSLATION?

The Dairy Association’s huge success with the campaign “Got Milk?” prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention that the Spanish translation read “Are you lactating?”

Coors translated its slogan “Turn it Loose” into Spanish, where it read “Suffer from Diarrhea.”

Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following wordage in an American campaign: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.”

Clairol introduced the “Mist Stick” – a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that “Mist” is slang for manure.

An American t-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market, promoting the Pope’s visit. Instead of “I saw the Pope (El Papa), the shirts read “I saw the Potato (La Papa).

Pepsi’s “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave” in Chinese.

Frank Perdue’s chicken slogan “It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken” was translated into Spanish and read “It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”

When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in Mexico, their slogan “Fly in leather” campaign literally meant “Fly naked (vuela en cuero)” in Spanish.

Hunt-Wesson introduced Big John products in French Canada as “Gros Jos” and later found out that in slang it means “Big Breasts.”

The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Kekoukela” meaning “Bite the Wax Tadpole” or “Female Horse Stuffed with Wax” depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to arrive at “Koku Kole” which translate into “Happiness in the Mouth.”

And last, but not least, Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico and its ads were supposed to read, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” The advertising company thought that the word “embarazar” (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad actually read “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”

How bout a little research folks?!?

KAYLIN’S SPRING RECIPE:

CARROT SOUFFLE

1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced
½ cup melted butter or margarine
3 eggs, beaten
¾ cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cook Carrots in a little boiling water and drain after checking for tenderness with a fork. Combine carrots and butter in an electric blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients. Blend well. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased (or Pam-sprayed) 9” x 13” casserole or soufflé dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until firm.

Okay, folks…here’s hoping your Spring brings wonderful memories and makes way for a toasty, prosperous year!

Best wishes and remember…keep reading!

Kaylin