|The Bucket List ~ Aaron and I at Badlands National Park |
~ The Americana Kitsch and Culture Tour 2011
The Bucket List
On Friday this week,
May 2014, my launch for my very first romance erotica book happens.
Was this always on my bucket list?
Actually, it wasn’t.
Last year, I hit the dreaded fifty and some part of me simply rebelled. I wasn’t ready to hang up my sensuality, leave it at the door, like a grubby pair of worn out shoes. Almost ready for the rubbish bin, no longer fit to wear out in public.
I started to write again, surprised at the characters turning up, what they were doing, and where they were going. Because I didn’t think I was going anywhere with it, I didn’t think to corral them in any way. I just let them do their own thing. Imagine my surprise, when they started to turn up every day, words in hand, attitudes on display. “Here’s today’s words.” They’d thrust them at me.
“Er…okay, thanks.” I’d take them, wondering about some of the places they wanted me to take them in the story. I thought, would people really read that? It was pretty bloody exciting for me, but would other people think that? I wasn’t sure, so new to this genre, that I didn’t have a clue that it was the number two best selling genre out there, and the market was hot. I talked to my mentor, who told me to let my rogue character have some room to move. Nicknamed bloody Charlie and now deeply loved by everyone who reads about him, I finally had to let him do his own thing. And thank God I did.
Here I am, one year later, publishing on Friday. Wow. J It’s an amazing feeling. I can barely comprehend it.
|My book cover!! Wow!! :-)|
I wouldn’t have gotten here without the help of some people along the way who really need mentioning. Susan Davis, my editor. She has been fabulous to work with and so encouraging. We just seemed to be on the same page. How could you ask for anything more?
Lea Schizas at MuseItHot Publishing—what a powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm. I feel like I lucked out, getting into Muse.
Mikey Rakes, who’s publishing soon under Michele Micheal Rakes. She believed in me and taught me so much about editing and being a better writer. She also encouraged me to make my first submission. I wouldn’t be here without her.
The great people at ERWA and Muse who are a daily support for me, you know who you are. J My good friends who have been behind me one hundred percent.
And finally, my late husband Aaron Brent Amor, who died earlier this year at forty-five, with a bucket list still in him. Without his amazing back up and support, I wouldn’t be here now. He wanted me to be a writer…and here I am. Thank you darling man.
|This image of two blended images 'mysteriously' appeared on Aaron's fb page after he died|
If I look back, I realize in truth, that writing a book and getting it published in ‘a real publishing’ house was probably always on my bucket list. So, thank you every single person who made that a reality for me.
I like to know what’s on people’s bucket lists. I have a list a mile long of places I still MUST travel to. I would have loved to do them with Aaron, he was the most wonderful person to travel with. We had a ball. J See—The Americana Kitsch and Culture Tour RV
road trip blog. USA
|Aaron with our 30 foot RV 'Charlie'|
I’m a born gypsy, my love of travel started with my mum’s world trip in 1972. Incredibly glamorous to us in little old
. Mum bought me a big map and we made
colored pins and flags, so I could map her way around the world. I loved it. I fell
in love with the postcards and the odd disconnected phone calls. Sometimes we’d
wait hours for a call to come through. It would have been ‘booked,’ then it
would be queued up and gone through numerous operators to reach us. We’d
sometimes only get five frustrating minutes on the phone to her, before the
connection was broken. But it fueled my love of travel. New
|I had a world map when Mum went on her tour and colored pins to stick all over it. I LOVED it.|
It was then backed up by Friday afternoons at Primary School where we got to watch all sorts of films. Some about things like logging in
Others on how the Inuit’s dried their washing up in the wilds of Canada ,
but many were on more exciting travel countries. Though the drying of washing
in the frozen tundra of Alaska
has remained with me to this day. It was quite fascinating. Alaska
And it’s ALL fascinating to me. When I travel I want to experience ALL of it. I once met a man who went to
for a month and miraculously managed to not eat a single piece of fabulous
French cheese from a market, or a Tarte Fraise. Or even go to a cheap bistro.
They brought ham and baguettes, making their own sandwiches each day. I was
horrified. They had the money, but lacked the imagination to realize that France ’s
food culture is one of THE things you ‘go to see’ in France .
When I was in Intermediate school, I had a wonderful teacher Ms. Robinson, who always told us wonderful stories about the world in general. In her class room, she had terrific tongue-in-cheek posters that said things like: Go to Moscow—paint the town red. I didn’t really get the double meaning at the time, but it fascinated me none the less.
The images in my mind of
are opulent (fake) fur hats, big overcoats, trimmed in fake fur, vodka and
caviar. And the wonderful onion domes of the churches. For reasons I can only
describe as sheer insanity—I want to go to Russia
in the winter. It seems perfect to me. No doubt, five minutes into the extreme
cold and snow, I’d be swearing like a trooper. And frantically working my bloody
iPhone—with my frozen fingers—trying to rebook myself out of there pronto to
somewhere warm and sunny. Russia
But still…the romantic notion is there. I want to hear the sexy sultry Russian accents around me, see the exotic bone structure of some of the woman. I hate vodka and caviar, but well…I still want to go to
|St Basils Cathedral in St Petersburg ~ The most beautiful of the Russian churches.|
|Isn't she just so beautiful!|
Mum’s world tour with my Grandfather in 1972 created the quintessential basis for my travel yearning. Travel was so glamorous back then. People still got on planes in their best outfits. Proper shoes and stockings for the woman—a good going away flying outfit. A tie for the men and a jacket, and some smart dress shoes, nicely polished. Hats and gloves had bitten the dust in the ‘60s, but still—people traveled in style! People also smoked like trains on aircraft—so some things have changed for the good. And besides, I’m with the artist
SARK, who once traveled in her pajamas.
She met someone who looked like Bob Hope as she was strolling down the
“Nice PJ’s,” said Bob.
Her friend said, “That was Bob Hope.’
I can really see how traveling in your jammies would be soooo comfortable. I don’t actually own any nightwear, but the thought is wonderful. I could have special travel jammies or perhaps a negligee. That’s bound to get me noticed. J
I have three basic unbreakable rules when traveling—always travel with a feather pillow, a hottie (hot water bottle) and every pair of underwear you own.
If the bed’s awful, at least you can get your head comfortable. On an aircraft, you can squish and squash a feather pillow into all sorts of shapes that allow you to get some sleep. If you’re cold or have a sprain, a hottie fixes all that ails. And at least if you’re wearing a grubby shirt or dress, clean panties make up for other deficits.
|Always travel with a hottie. :-)|
I want to go back to
again. It’s hard to get sick of Ireland .
The lyrical voices, fabulous soups, eye popping greenness, and the feeling of
I’d pop into Waterford Crystal and order a HUGE flower vase thingee for the center of the table. Enter
and look up the Irish rellys which elude the genealogy websites. Stand on Morrison
Quay at number 11, where my Great Great etc Grandfather had his Dental Surgery
practice. Then toddle down to Kenmare for several days on the Cork and just soak it up. I
want to sleep in the marvelous rooms at Brooklane Hotel in Kenmare. Go into the
bar for a drink, have a bowl of soup and soda bread. Then be staggeringly full
just from the soup. No room for a main meal. Afterwards, I’d sit in front of
the fire and stare at the Poppy painting in their lounge. Beara
|Trinity Church where my family got married and baptized, Cork City, Co. Cork, Ireland|
|Morrison Quay where my Gr Gr Gr Grandfather had his dental surgery. Notice Trinity Church in this photo and the one above.|
|The gorgeous, elegant and super comfortable Brooklane in Kenmare, Co. Cork, Ireland|
I’d shop at Quills, and get that most prized of Irish souvenirs—the gumboot. Handy for trekking over fields and stiles to see Stone Circles—especially Ardgroom. I’d have one more go at driving to the North of
and track down more Irish rellys. Passing through Ireland Galway
and breathing it in. There’s nowhere, quite like Galway.
|Ardgroom Stone Circle ~ A magical still activated stone circle|
From there, a short drive back to
area and hop on a ferry to Waterford Northern Wales in the summer.
I think that season is roughly around July 17th every year or
thereabouts. The rest of the time, the weather is shocking, but I love .
Then tiki-tour down to the farthest tip of
near Lands End. Stopping in the wee Cornwall and standing in the
graveyard surrounded by relatives. Quite literally, half the people buried there are my family,
mostly miners. What a unique feeling that would be. I want to go into a shop
and recognize a family feature in someone’s face and ask them, “Are you a
Lanyon by any chance?” village
of St. Just
And for them to say, “Yes, you must be too, from the look of you.”
|The wee mining village of St Just. That church has married, baptized and seen the deaths of so many of my relatives, going all the way back to the time it was built.|
When I’ve had enough of the cold and damp, I’d hop a plane to the
Sit in a wee Taverna and sip horrible Greek Retsina, while I nibble and slurp
at fat Greek olives, sopping up the olive oil with pita bread. I want to blend
in (with my red hair and pale white skin—I know, but we’re all allowed
fantasies!) and somehow pronounce at least a few words of Greek. I want to be
immersed in Greek Islands .
I like the Greeks. I’ve had Greek friends and worked for Greeks and always felt
at home and comforted by their culture and presence. I get the Greeks.
Everything is clear. There are no hidden emotions, life is lived with gusto. I
love that. Greece
|Oooh... can't you imagine sitting here, slurping on olives, perfect oil, briny feta cheese and retsina. Heaven|
No surprise that Muse It Up Publishing is run by the energetic and dynamic Greek, Lea Schizas.
When I lived in
and hated it. I used to go to a tiny Greek restaurant nearby and they treated
me like a local family person. I could go there when I was alone and lonely, and
they’d fuss over me, bringing me gorgeous food. For a short time, I’d feel
comforted and cocooned. I liked that feeling a lot. Florida
I want to return to
and soak myself in it. France
The food is beyond belief. The culture is fascinating. How can you not love a
nation that reveres food and sets life around it? I don’t have much of a sweet
tooth but when I’m there, I eat pastries every morning with ravagement. I eat a
flaky buttery crisp croissant every morning without fail, then another in the
afternoon because—how can you resist! I wrap my mouth around big slabs of the
most perfect Quiche Lorraine only the French seem to perfect. Mine is close,
but still doesn’t seem to have enough butter or cream, or something! Arghhhh. France
To sit in a sidewalk café and sip a glass of wine is a perfect moment in
I love the smell of the heavy clove cigarettes, the French men and the flair
they have. They enjoy their clothes. I love the Citron Press where you can get
fresh citrus juice. I love the country that has the most sublime cheeses in the
world. And thinks that cooking with butter, cream and alcohol are completely
natural. I so agree. France
I want to go to the
in the tulip season and god forbid—ride a bloody bicycle amongst the fields.
The fact I’m athletically challenged is neither here nor there. I want to be
somewhere where I can take at least a thousand photos of the tulips and be
moving at a pace that lets me do that. Okay—never mind. I could walk! I can’t
hold a bicycle up, pedal AND take pictures at the same time. Netherlands
|I always think tulips look good enough to eat|
I want to go and see Van Gogh collection. I’m bored by his sunflowers and such works, but seeing his later works. Wow. They have so much texture and life in them, they are almost edible.
I want to buy a postcard of a little Dutch girl that mum sent us when she traveled with her father. See the big cheese rounds being wheeled around the market they have somewhere. I want to go to the miniature town that even has an airport. I remembered loving mums pictures.
|My sister and I both loved these postcards when we got them from Mum on her overseas trip|
I want to go to
again when it’s snowing and see the Cuckoo Clock places decked in snow. Go to
the delicious village name of Germany .
Then eat good German food, full of meat and cream and deliciousness. Oberammergau
The list just goes on and on…
But that’s okay. It’s what makes our life rich and lush. I only wish Aaron was here to do it with. He loved to travel. He loved me being a writer. And my first book Dark War is dedicated to him and my mum Olwyn Loudon, who also died at forty-five. Thank you both for always encouraging me to be me and be a writer. I love you both very much. I wish you were here in person to see this. :-) xoxoxo
|My mum Olwyn Loudon ~ super glammy!!! :-)|