Chad Grayson

The Bucket List

Man in gray and black long sleeve shirt sitting on rock Photo credit: Rodrigo Nestor Quinones Fernandez

I am not at the point in my life where I have begun thinking about its ending. Maybe I just have some weird subconscious idea that I am immortal? But I have been thinking about things I’d like to do while I’m still young and healthy enough to enjoy them. Is this a bucket list? You could call it that. I don’t love that term, but it’s the term we have, so I’ll guess I’ll use it.

The last few years have actually seen me check off a couple of things from this list. I published a book (3 of them), I walked my little girl down the aisle, I came out of the closet, I became a grandparent (a couple of years earlier than expected but you don’t get to choose the timing of these things).

And then last week another item came into my crosshairs. It has long been a bucket list item for me to become a member of SFWA, in some capacity. Well, last month, they changed the membership requirements. I did not understand the full scope of the change at first. I thought the earnings target had to be within one year, so I put out a call to my friends and followers that I was close to the goal, and if they were thinking about buying my books, now would be a good time. And posting that was kind of a joke, but then people did it! Others told me they were requesting my books on kindle unlimited, which also helps. So, I made the target!

Then I found out it didn’t have to be in one year, but in your entire career, which meant that I could count my short story sales from ten years ago, and that put me even further over the line. So, not only did I now qualify for an associate membership, I was nearly halfway toward qualifying for full membership. I applied as soon as I had my info together, just I case they realized their mistake and changed the requirements back. Two days ago I got this:

So, yes, bucket list item. I am now an associate member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (they’re in the process of changing their name). I am beyond excited. A lot of people are pointing out that its not as hard to get in anymore, which makes it not as big of an accomplishment, but I don’t care. I am happy to be the riffraff they are letting in (no one has used that term actually). However, this doesn’t completely remove this item from the bucket list. Now I’m working toward full membership. I have faith that I’ll get there.  

This just made me think about other thigs I want to accomplish. So here are some of them, in no particular order and without regard to categorization. Some are career things. Some are family things. Some are just personal.

I want to hit a bestseller list. I don’t care what list or in what position. It can be one of those obscure amazon category lists like ‘Sci Fi Romances about Journalists,’ (I think I might own that category, actually). I would just like to be able to say I was a best-selling author. Of some stripe. I’m not picky.

I want to hike the Pacific Crest trail. Hiking is my favorite form of exercise, and I love the northwest. This trail is reasonably close to where I love. . I will probably try to do it sometime in the next five years or so. Maybe alone, maybe with a friend. I have no idea who.

I want to travel to Europe. I’m thinking maybe Spain or England? Again, I’m not picky. I’d just like to make it to the continent somewhere. This would be more fun to do with a friend, but again, I have no idea who. Maybe someone who’s been there before? I just want to go for the experience.

I want to take my grandkids to Disneyland. This will probably have to wait until they’re a little older, when they can appreciate it better. It will probably also have to wait until I hit that bestseller list.

I want to get my A+ certification. This, I’m actually close to. I just need to study the book and take the test. Then I can say I am a certified i.t. technician. Riches will follow, I’m sure.

I want to fall in love with someone as my entire self. This is a little bit of a weird concept to explain. I’ve been in love before, but never with someone it was safe to share my authentic self with. That was not her fault. That was mine, for putting myself in the closet in the first place. But now that I’m out, I want the whole thing. I want a relationship that has the full spectrum of spiritual, intellectual, and physical attraction and connection. It feels like I’m asking too much, judging from how things are going on dating sites. But I live in hope.

This is my bucket list, such as it is. None of it seems like too much to ask for.

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