Saturday, July 9, 2016

summer bucket list, belated

It's the middle of summer . . . sounds a lot better than halfway through summer, doesn't it? (I'm in denial about the swift passage of time, okay.) Usually if people talk about their summer bucket lists, they do so at the beginning of the season, but I don't follow crowds, so here's my middle-of-the-summer list.

It's half wishful thinking, a quarter to-do list, and two-thirds "this will keep my feet on the ground and head in the clouds and sanity intact."*

*And that was not a normal whole number, but we're all about living life to the fullest, so if my fractions add up to more than the number one,** that's the way it should be.

**Which I'm fully aware they do. (Wow. A footnote of a footnote. Just when I thought I couldn't get stranger.)

Anyway, with the season being in full swing, and my schedule feeling as full as ever, I've been longing for time off, time away, a drop of real summertime, a holiday of any sort, etc. Hence this post.

have a picnic

bike to a park and do devotions & journaling there

color in my coloring book

paint a picture (I have an idea in mind to use lyrics
from this song--go have a listen; it's amazing)

take an afternoon to read a stack of children's books

go to bed earlier

arrange a guest post with someone (you know who you are!)

plan at least two month's worth of post ideas for
when college busyness hits

win the 100-for-100 challenge (we're a third
of the way there . . . we can do thissss)

go swimming at least once

do at least two sessions of The Creative Way each month

finish going through the agent listings in the book I bought

send out first batch of queries (!!!) (this may be
the wishful thinking part)

watch Mockingjay Part 2

bask in the sun

paint my toenails because the current pink polish is half gone

read Peter Pan for the first time

actually use my people watching journal . . .

. . . and my quotes journal

take a few days off work to just chill

remember first drafts are messy

remember to have fun

remember to find joy


Besides the to-do items, it looks like I'm longing for the summers of my childhood. I can't recreate them, but maybe I can rediscover some of the simple things I used to have time for. It'll be interesting to come back to this list in a couple months and hold it up to what reality actually brings.

What are you doing this summer? What's on your to-do list, or longings-of-the-heart list? Are you going anywhere or staying home? If you could return to a childhood summer memory, what would it be and why?

P.S. Voting for the Silmarillion Awards is open until July 14th! Don't forget to cast yours! :)


  1. Nice list! I like how you have both the big things (like sending out queries) and the little things (like going swimming).

    Summers have always been full of working and hosting, with the occasional trip to the river thrown in. I love all that, but I'm also hoping for a few days of calm to get some art and writing done.

    1. Thanks! I put the big things on the list to help me keep marching toward my goals, and the little things to remind me to relax and enjoy life on the way. :) Because I can get a little too task-oriented sometimes...

      Sounds glorious! I hope you get some of those calm days--that's so important. And oooh, I didn't know you were an artist! (Or if I did, I forgot, so shame on me.) What sort of mediums do you prefer, and what kind of art do you make?

    2. Well that's clever!

      I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it, so feel no shame.
      I enjoy doing little illustrations to go along with my writing. Always have. In fact, I was only just scribbling out some character design for a story idea.

    3. That's so neat! I wish I could illustrate what I write, but I haven't been able to get the characters to look the way I imagine them. Perhaps you'll end up doing the illustrations for your children's books? :)

  2. Wonderful summer list, Tracey! I hope you can accomplish these things!
    Hehe...I keep telling myself I need to go to bed earlier, too. =) We're in this together, girl.
    YES 100-4-100 WARRIOR!!! We can totally do this!! (psst, I'm actually on my Grace Week right now...*sheepish grin*) Savannah (my sister) said she was going to try not to have any Grace Days or Grace Weeks. And so far she has succeeded...but I just can't. =)
    A few things on my bucket list: Do a photo shoot with a couple families...have someone do a guest post on my more...there are more goals, but too many to put on here. =)
    Yep, stayin' home. We don't really travel much. =)
    Well...I'm fourteen, so I can't really say I have any summer childhood memories. But one summer memory I wish I could relive is jumping in our neighbor friends' trampoline in the rain, and singing 'That's What Makes You Beautiful' from 1D. Man, that was fun.
    I'm getting awful long-winded. Better stop now. =D
    Have a great day!!

    1. Thank you! I hope so, too...

      Yes, earlier bedtimes for all! XD I need mah sleep.

      You're doing 100-for-100 too? Awesome! WE GOT THIS. Oh my goodness, Savannah hasn't taken any grace days? Yikes! I was going to try taking as few as possible, but somehow it's worked out that I absolutely have to take one each week. There's often a day when I have no time to write at all. And I'm saving my grace week for possible family holidays. But don't feel bad for taking your grace days/week! That's what they're there for! You need breaks so you won't burn out. ^_^

      Great list! Do you like photography? What kind of books are you hoping to read?

      Home is my favorite place, so staycations are definitely not a bad thing. ;)

      Oh, that sounds like a blast! (I must admit, I do like that song even if I'm not a 1D fan. XD)

      I love long-winded comments! Hope you have a great day too, Ariel! :D

    2. Yes, photography is one of my biggest passions!!! I just got a supersupersuper awesome camera for Christmas, and it's been glorrrious using it this year!
      Hmm...ya know what, I'm not really sure. A hodge-podge of books, probably. Gotta get a little taste of each genre! =) And it's not too hard to do because I've got a little sister who loves me to read aloud to her!;)

    3. Nice! I so admire people dedicated enough to photography to get "supersupersuper awesome" cameras. (Mine is a Canon that I've had for like eight years. XD)

      A hodgepodge is always great. *nods* Oh, reading aloud is such fun! Sometimes my sister and I read fairytales out loud to each other, because we're both fascinated by the strangeness of the originals. :)

  3. EEP. I love this idea! What a lovely way to keep our head in the clouds and feet on the ground, as you said. (Also your footnotes killed me. XD)

    I love this idea of taking an afternoon to read a stack of children's books. That would be too fun! And can I just say how exciting it is you're going through a list of agents and everything. I'M SO PROUD OF YOU. And you're an inspiration because that's something I set out to do this year and...haven't even started. o.o Oooops. Shameful!

    READ PETER PAN. YES DO IIIIIT. You won't regret it, I promise!

    (Also, yes, I do know who I am. *wink, wink*)

    What a wonderful summer-y list. Now you've gotten me wanting to do one! Having lists are such great ways to keep us on track and not use our free time just watching TV or whatever. (Not that *I* would do that. Noooo.)

    I hope the rest of your summer is a spectacular one! <3

    1. Thanks, girl! Now to just remember to do all these things... (I am pleased. XDDD)

      There are so many childhood favorites in our family bookshelf! It would be fun to go back and reread them.
      THANK YOU SO MUCH. <3 It was one of my goals for this year too, but I've done SO little about it, especially recently. I think it's been a couple months since I did any research for it. :/ Which is the reason I had to put it on this list. And also CAN I JUST SAY I am so thrilled about you searching for agents, whenever you do it!!!

      I REALLY MUST. It looks like it might hit the favorites list. :D

      (*wink wink* Aww, now the secret's out! XD Not that it was supposed to be a secret, of course.)

      You should--I'd love to read it. And yesh, lists are life. They help to keep me from running around like a chicken with its head cut off. XD Because otherwise it just feels like too many things in my head, and I have to put it on paper so I can actually take each item individually and do something about them.

      Same to you, darling! <3 Enjoy the AC (I know you don't care for the heat) and all the summery things this season brings your way!

  4. Ooo, what a wonderful bucket list! *devours*

    Oh goodness that coloring book is so PWETTY!! I loveth it, I must have one *nods*. And if you paint a picture, you must post a picture of your picture (WOW that sounded weird). 'Cause I would want to see :D.

    YOU CAN WIN 100-FOR-100 TRACEY I KNOW YOU CAN!!! *sends you motivational kittens* (I think I'm going through a phrase of sending people motivational kittens)

    TRACEY DYCK IS GOING TO (possibly) SEND OUT QUERIES ASLKDJFHLAKSDJFHLAKJSDFH I JUST DIED. I SO hope you're able to get a book published, Tracey!!!

    Oh my goodness, you have a people watching journal?! That sounds like such an awesome idea :D. Where'd you get it?

    I have SO many things on both my to-do and longings-of-the-heart list. Including possibly having a guest post on my blog (*fistbump for similar goals*), and finishing up editing my novella *bangs head on table*. I FEEL LIKE IT'S NEVER GOING TO GET DONE.

    But anyways. I hope you are able to get all your goals completed!

    1. If you devour my list, does that mean it's completed? That I can use the "dog ate my homework" excuse? Except now it would be "Savannah ate my bucket list." XD

      My parents gave it to me last Christmas and I. Am. In. Love. Yes, if I paint something I'll definitely share it here! Thanks for your interest. ^_^

      SO CAN YOU! *cuddles all the kittens* Ariel tells me you haven't taken a single grace day. GIRL, YOU ARE SUPERHUMAN.

      SLAKFJASLKJFAKLSJFSLJ WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH ALL THE SWEETNESS? That "possibly" is very much the key word, but I'm verrrry much hoping to make time to get going with this agent research so I can actually write a query and then send it out. o.o

      I bought a 3-pack of notebooks at Chapters last year, and decided to make one of them a people watching journal. Haven't used it much, but I basically just write a paragraph or two on interesting people I observe as I go throughout my days. I include the date, the person's gender and approximate age, and then a few thoughts. (Sooo not creepy at all. XD) It's really fun!

      Woohoo for summer goals! I look forward to reading that guest post. And keep editing, you can do iiiiit! <3 Hey, totally random brainwave here, but what's one (or two or three) of the hardest things about editing for you? Maybe it'd make good blog post fodder.

    2. Sure you can! *happily chomps on the last bit of your bucket list* Okay, I finished it XD. And it tasted like chocolate, just sayin' *shrugs*.

      HAHAHA ... yeah. I've basically DIED having no grace days XD. But it is my goal not to take any grace days at all, so ... I WILL MAKE IT. I JUST MIGHT DIE IN THE PROCESS. And yes, I am superhuman *nods sagely* *dons awesome superhero garb*

      You shall have to tell us what happens with querying and such! Definitely keep us posted, I WANT TO KNOW ALL SO I CAN CHEER TRACEY ON!!!

      Yep. Sooo not creepy :D. I should totally do that, I'm constantly trying to discreetly look at people that definitely could be story characters in my story. I have problems XD.

      FEARING THAT I'M ACTUALLY MAKING IT WORSE. Like, this is the biggest problem I have and it has literally driven me crazy and made me want to stop editing period. 'Cause I constantly scrutinize every bit and can't decide whether I'm actually making things WORSE! *sighs* The other two problems would probably be ... uh, I ... kinda sorta get bored sometimes? And the fact that editing takes FOREVER and I never know when to STOP editing! What are the three hardest things about editing for you? (and yes, that is a wonderful idea for a post! *puts in mental 'possible-posts' folder)

    3. "It tasted like chocolate." I AM PLEASED.

      You can make it! (Without dying!)

      Oh trust me, I'll be keeping y'all up to date on my progress. You guys are all such an encouragement--thank you! <3

      ME TOO. It's awkward when you catch yourself staring at someone because you're trying to describe them and commit their details to memory.

      I am now inspired to go write a post (or two or three, LOL) about those editing woes. That is, if you don't mind? (If you were thinking of writing up something on those topics as well, absolutely go for it.) Especially the making it worse one...

      In no particular order...
      1. Cutting/condensing/trimming. It's hard enough when I have a word limit (like the Rooglewood contests), but when I'm editing my own projects, it's hard to determine which parts are too fatty.

      2. Sentence structure variation. It's not always a problem, but I've noticed a certain structure I overuse, and then I HAVE TO WORD THINGS DIFFERENTLY, BUT I KEEP FALLING BACK ON THAT SAME STRUCTURE, UGH.

      3. Making sure my characters are properly motivated and doing what they would realistically do. I think (hope? pray?) I'm getting better at this, but The Prophet's Quest started out more plot driven than character driven--which isn't a bad thing, just a thing--and I had to really work on my MCs motives for... you know, putting their lives at risk for the sake of a world they'd never been to. XD

      I could make that list twice as long, I'm sure, but 3 is where we'll stop!

    4. Of course I don't mind! I'm not even sure if I'll be writing a post about that or not - I have a LOT of other posts waiting to be written :D. And it would actually be super cool if we both wrote a post about the same thing! Then we could see each other's take of the horror that is editing *nods*.

      2. YES I HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THAT TOO! And I also tend to use the same word (or series of words) over ... and over ... and over ... like, one of my characters will always be 'gasping for air' or something like that. It's bad.

      3. UGH YES. Sometimes I'll read the story I'm editing and then be like 'wait ... why are they doing this, anyway?'. So I just try to give them each one big goal and have all their decisions be based off that goal *shrugs*. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

      If we didn't stop at three we'd go on forever :D.

    5. Great! Then I just may have to turn this into a post in the near future... ;)

      2. Me too! I try to fix it all in editing, but my first drafts are full of smiling, staring, brows furrowing, nodding, straightening, slumping, etc. XD

      3. One aspect of the problem for me is that Journeys of the Chosen started out doing very poorly on the character motivation front, so things got ironed out during the many rounds of edits and rewrites over the years. But I feel like I haven't written terribly many NEW things... stories with new characters that need new motivations. So I need more practice! XD

      Forever and a day, most likely.

  5. I love this idea! And your list!

    You haven't read Peter Pan??? It is one of my favorites!!! I hope you enjoy it! Very few movies do the story justice. Though the 2003 "Peter Pan" did a slightly better job than most of the others.

    I have a coloring book I want to do some coloring in, as well. :)

    I love that you have fun and serious and random things all mixed together.

    Best of luck on the querying!!!!

    1. Thank you, on both counts! :)

      I haven't--what a tragedy! My sisters both adore it, and from what I've heard, I will too. I'm pretty sure I saw the 2003 movie, but it was so long ago I don't remember much of it.

      Nice! What kind do you have?

      Thanks so much for your support, Jenelle! It means a lot!

    2. My coloring book is this Celtic patterns one I got from Usborne. It looks cool... but I haven't managed to find time to actually color in it... LOL though it seems like it would be good relaxation...

    3. That sounds cool! Celtic patterns are so pretty. I hope you manage to find some time for it eventually--it is quite relaxing, I find. :)

  6. This is a lovely list! :D Journaling... that's something I need to do more often.

    My list consists of:

    - Surviving my stress (and my mom's :P) when the packers come for the first time tomorrow and start boxing up our home.
    - Go to an epic water park that my parents said would be an awesome family activity for when the movers finally leeeeave and our house is all packed up.
    - Maybe go to a really cool Vegas show called The Tournament of Kings where there is basically a medieval feast and jousting and all that epic stuff. (also, yes, we live near Vegas, and it has been interesting. :P)
    - Sit in the car on the move and write and draw and watch movies and be bored.
    - Explore all the national parks we'll be visiting.
    - Did I mention sitting in the car.
    - And also being bored.
    - Read the epic 5MS collection and wish that your story was in it so I could read it and cuddle it and fangirl over it.
    - Watch Miracles From Heaven; I really want to see that movie!
    - ACTUALLY REMEMBER TO LISTEN TO ALBERT MOHLER'S THE BRIEFING BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN GETTING SO BEHIND. (If you're wondering what that is, it's a daily, 30-minute-ish podcast on current events and a Christian response to them.
    - Stay up with Camp NaNo and win it even though it's going to be hectic.
    - Finish beta-reading an epic book called Pariah that I seriously love.
    - Sit in the car some more.
    - Arrive at our awesome new house.

    Okay, so that was really long - forgive me. :P But your summer sounds epic. And POSSIBLE QUERYING. o.o Good luck. *crosses fingers*

    Oh, and on another note, I watched Zootopia and thought it was really adorable and very suspenseful. I know you love that movie, so I just thought I'd mention it. ;)

    1. Oh my goodness, that really was a monster comment. o.o Really sorry. :P

    2. *whispers* Zootopia was awesome :). *fistbump*

    3. I need to journal more frequently too.

      Epic list! How did the packing go today? And a waterpark! Fun, fun! That Tournament of Kings sounds spectacular too. I hope you're not too bored on the drive to your new house. (I often play Hangman with my siblings during such times. XD) "The Briefing" sounds very interesting.

      Oh my word, you just made my day with your 5MS comment! <333

      RE Camp Nano: YOU CAN DO THIS, GIRL. *sends you Savannah's motivational kittens*

      Pariah is Amy Meester's story, right? I hear her talking about it on To the Barricade. :)

      I don't know how epic it'll be, since these bucket list items have to find ways to squeeze around work and other such adulating things. XD But I'm hoping!

      Nothing to forgive! I adore long comments and lists and rambles, so yours just made me happy. ^_^

      And you watched Zootopia! Wasn't it awesome? *flails because Nick Wilde*

    4. Yes, 'tis something that I need to do. But I just can't bear to mess up the flawless leather journals I have! *sighs* :P

      It went pretty well. Our movers aren't very fast, but, you know. :P Yes, we're going to the waterpark on Wednesday. Should be really fun. :) Haha, hangman is fun; I packed a little white board to play games on while we're driving. :)

      Aaw, I do SO wish that The Brightest Thread was included in the collection. I really want to read that one day. <3

      Yes, Pariah is by Aimee Meester. I'm quite sure now that Aimee has writing superpowers, cause HOW CAN A TEENAGER WRITE AND REVISE SOMETHING SO FANTASTIC? *shakes head in disbelief*

      Yes, Zootopia was quite awesome and well-done. :D An angle of it had a bit of a messed-up message, but, you know. ;)

    5. JOURNALS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE MESSY. Just like first drafts, eh? ;D But I know the feeling. I have to force myself to mark up my pretty notebooks too. (You have leather ones! *drools* I'm going to buy one someday... when I think of a noble enough purpose for it. XD)

      Good to hear! And I hope you enjoyed the waterpark. :) Packing a white board sounds like a great idea.

      D'awww, I hope you can someday! <3

      (Drat, it's spelled Aimee, that's right. :P) You must be on to something with the superpower idea!

      True. You *can* take that angle in a good way if you try hard enough, but considering popular opinion...yeah. Other than that, though, I loved it! :D

  7. "And that was not a normal whole number, but we're all about living life to the fullest, so if my fractions add up to more than the number one,** that's the way it should be." YOU ARE RIGHT. INTEGERS ARE OVERRATED. XD

    I went swimming in the lake near my house on Wed, IT WAS GLORIOUS. To swim A LOT is on my list for sure!

    I have also never read Peter Pan, weirdly! (Or maybe I have ... or maybe I started it? I can't remember.)

    Also on my list:
    start SitC!!!!
    ... that's about it XD I'm going away for two weeks, two camps tomorrow, so if I'm still alive by the end of that we'll be lucky.

    Love this post <3


      I'm so jealous! Very much hoping I can fit in at least one day at the beach this summer...

      So it's not just me! My sisters are adamant about me reading it, and I definitely want to pick it up soon. It looks like such a charming book.

      *grins about SitC* (Speaking of which, I WILL respond to the book in my inbox soon. ^_^)
      Oh, have fun! Are you going as a camper or a counsellor? (If it's even that sort of camp?)

      Thank you! <3

  8. Great list, I haven't read Peter Pan either.

    1. Thanks! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who hasn't read it. (Though I can easily imagine falling in love with it and screeching about it to the internets...)

  9. Wow, I loved this post! I love the idea of reading kids books. :) You have a people-watching journal? This is somewhat concerning...

    1. Thank you, Kayla! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

      The people watching journal is for writing purposes. You know, to take note of interesting people and to exercise my observation skills. Buuuut that doesn't make it any less creepy, does it? XD Writers are a strange breed!

    2. Well. That makes me feel so much better. Haha, just kidding. I totally get what you're talking about.:)

    3. Well. That makes me feel so much better. Haha, just kidding. I totally get what you're talking about.:)