18 Things Bucket List

Jamie Ayres is sponsoring an 18 Things blogfest to celebrate her new release 18 Things. (See more at To support her, and maybe win a nifty prize, I am writing my bucket list of 18 Things I’d still like to do in life. This was harder than I expected; while I am a list maker, I’ve never tried to write this all in one list. It was kind of fun to see what I came up with. And in honor of Jamie, I tried to consolidate it into exactly 18 things. Here it is, in no particular order:

Be the mother of the bride. (this summer!)

Touch a whale.

Be a published author. (working on it!)

Go on school visits (as an author).

Serve on a community board.

Attend a championship figure skating tournament. (as a spectator)

Live in/near downtown Anchorage Alaska.

Go snorkeling with equipment that’s my size. (petite)

Celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary. (about 20 years to go!)

See Ireland and Scotland.

See Eastern Europe.

See whales in Baja and Hawai’i.

Ride in a helicopter.

Go on a birding adventure.

Be a fabulous grandma.

See more of Alaska. (ongoing!)

Go on some road trips in the Lower 48 States.

Give a large donation to a cause I believe in (large enough to get a personal thank you, not a form letter).

Have you written a bucket list? You might try it! And now see how this relates to Jamie’s book 18 Things: Can eighteen things save a life? Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name (after her grandmothers of course) and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten. Then Conner is killed in a freak accident and Olga feels responsible. The sarcastic, nerdy girl who never missed a day of school is suddenly lost and unable to deal with the emotional pain. When she downs an entire bottle of pain pills, her parents force her into counseling. There, her therapist writes a prescription in the form of a life list titled 18 Things. Eighteen quests to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday. Olga enlists the help of her friends and becomes a catalyst for healing in their own lives as they eagerly offer suggestions. Alls she has to do is fire-walk, try out for the cheerleading squad, break a world record, and err . . . go on her first date. Good thing Nate, a new hottie in town, enters her life with perfect timing. He brings the fun factor to her list and helps her discover the beauty and strength inside herself, then complicates things by falling in love with her. Maybe it’s time to put into practice the lessons her list has taught her. Just as she’s finally embracing the joys of YOLO, her therapist reveals a big secret and Olga’s world is shaken. In the past year it took eighteen remarkable things to change a life, but nothing she believed about her mission is true. Now she doesn’t just risk losing her true soul-mate forever, she risks losing her very soul. There’s only one thing she knows for certain. Her choice will affect their future for all eternity.

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I love to share my passion for Alaska and its history in my writing for young adults and their grown ups.


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