Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest: N. Gemini Sasson

What are the Top Five Things on my Bucket List?

Wow, I used to have one of those. Several, in fact. But that was before they called them ‘Bucket Lists’. Even way back before the early Oprah days, when she talked about ‘visualizing’ your dreams and cutting out magazine pictures to glue on a piece of posterboard. I scribbled my dreams down on index cards and stuffed them in an envelope, sealed it, and dated it for several years later. Those envelopes were crammed with hopes of travel, a farm house in the country, and a happy family. But sometime in the past ten years, I stopped looking ahead and moored myself in the day to day. What happened between then and now? Life happened: two very active kids, a husband who deserved a certain amount of attention, multiple dogs, a herd of sheep, two homes rehabbed – all while I was secretly building a career and juggling part time jobs. It seemed the older I got, the more my bucket lists became strictly to-do lists. Practical, not fun. Duty. Obligation. Responsibility. Finish this, accomplish that, etc., etc.

It’s time to dream again. To open my mind to what is possible. To explore, test my limits, seek new thrills. The kids are off at college, debts have been paid down, the sheep have been re-homed to a location without coyotes and the house is finally just the way we want it to be.

So what’s on my Bucket List now? Fun and memorable stuff:

5) Go see the Summer Olympics – To watch Track and Field. Although actually being in the Olympics would be THE most amazing thing ever.

4) Take a balloon ride, preferably over the pyramids of Egypt.

3) Go hiking in Iceland – It’s a raw landscape, but the geology fascinates me. Hopefully, though, I won’t get trapped there by a volcanic eruption.

2) Sleep under the stars in the Scottish Highlands – Evidently I have a thing for tree-less, wind-scoured locations, but I have this inexplicable attraction to Scotland. I love bagpipe music. I think it’s genetic.

1) Be on The Amazing Race – I figure I could tick all the other items off the Bucket List in one fell swoop that way (provided the producers are on the same wavelength as me). With my map-reading skills and my husband’s willingness to talk to total strangers, we’d be a kick-butt team.

That’s mine. I could go on and on, but doing those would certainly create some exciting memories. What’s on your Bucket List? If you don’t have one, what are you waiting for? And if you have one, what steps are you taking to tick the items off? Me – I need to go back to work today and start saving and planning for four years from now. The Olympics are in Rio de Janeiro. If I don’t make it onto The Amazing Race by then, maybe I can schedule a balloon ride over the Brazilian rainforest or a canoeing side trip to the Amazon?

I love your list! I think going to the Olympics (Summer or Winter) would be amazing. I've been to Iceland, a long time ago--didn't hike, it was March and snowing sideways. But it was an amazing time. Spent 2 weeks in the Scottish Highlands that year as well. For both I recommend bringing snacks (just in case!) and a notebook to chronical the places you've been so when you see those pictures you can remember which castle/waterfall/hill you took it at!
Thanks so much for stopping by!

What is done cannot be undone.
England, 1326. Edward II has been dethroned. Queen Isabella and her lover, Sir Roger Mortimer, are at the pinnacle of their power.

Fated to rule, Isabella’s son becomes King Edward III at the callow age of fourteen. Young Edward, however, must bide his time as the loyal son until he can break the shackles of his minority and dissolve the regency council which dictates his every action.

When the former king is found mysteriously dead in his cell, the truth becomes obscured and Isabella can no longer trust her own memory . . . or confide in those closest to her. Meanwhile, she struggles to keep her beloved Mortimer at her side and gain yet another crown—France’s—for the son who no longer trusts her.

Amidst a maelstrom of shifting loyalties, accusations of murder propel England to the brink of civil war.

In the sequel to Isabeau, secrecy and treason, conspiracy and revenge once again overtake England. The future rests in the hands of a mother and son whose bonds have reached a breaking point.


Isabella – Westminster, February, 1327

The reminder that I was still married to Edward of Caernarvon stung like an open cut, fresh and deep down to the vein. Except for the sharp whistling of my indrawn breath, the room was silent. Bishop Orleton must have sensed the tension between Mortimer and me, for he excused himself, closing the door firmly behind him.

I turned away to face the row of windows, the world beyond dark with night. In moments, Mortimer’s arms encircled my waist from behind, tugging me gently against him. I kept my body stiff, tempering my resolve against his nearness, but already my knees were weakening beneath me.

“Isabeau ... sweet heaven of mine.” Light fingers traced over my hips, wandering slowly up toward my ribs. His breath stirred on my neck, a fiery breeze of longing. “Let me hold you tonight, hour upon hour, until the dawn.”

I shook my head, even as I felt myself wanting to yield, to abandon all. “I’m afraid, Roger.”

He turned me around, his lips brushing against the crown of my hair, over my ear, the slope of my shoulder. Not until my breathing slowed and I half-closed my eyes, waiting for more, did he lift his head to speak. A smirk, hinting of something sinister, flashed across his mouth. Or perhaps I merely imagined it? His thumb stroked tenderly at my cheek, soothing away my worries. “Afraid of what—that he’ll go free? You needn’t worry, my love. I’ll make sure he never has the chance.”

About the Author:

N. Gemini Sasson is also the author of The Crown in the Heather (The Bruce Trilogy: Book I), Worth Dying For (The Bruce Trilogy: Book II), The Honor Due a King (The Bruce Trilogy: Book III) and Isabeau, A Novel of Queen Isabella and Sir Roger Mortimer (2011 IPPY Silver Medalist for Historical Fiction). She holds a M.S. in Biology from Wright State University where she ran cross country on athletic scholarship. She has worked as an aquatic toxicologist, an environmental engineer, a teacher and a track and cross country coach. A longtime breeder and judge of Australian Shepherds, her articles on bobtail genetics have been translated into seven languages.



marybelle said...

I don't have a bucket list, but if you are looking for a partner for The Amazing Race - here I am.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting the author today.

MomJane said...

I want a bucket list. I am starting one today.

N. Gemini Sasson said...

This was so much fun, Isabel! Thank you. So many things to do, so many places to go. What are we all waiting for?

Isabel Roman said...

Did anyone see the 80+ woman who went skydiving? (It went slightly wrong) My grandmother (who is 85) saw that and said quite clearly "I don't need a bucket list but I would like to see pictures if anyone else went!"

I don't know that 'bucket list' is the right term, I think it's more about experiencing new things and not letting everyday life hold you back.

Rebecca Lochlann said...

I would love to go and visit my adopted elephant, Lempaute, at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Sanctuary in Kenya. Sigh. Maybe someday. My bucket list is less "athletic" than yours, G.

N. Gemini Sasson said...

I almost mentioned that skydiving incident, Isabel! I'm not sure I'd do anything *that* daring, but we do all need to keep experiencing life.

And Reb, Kenya sounds heavenly.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a list per se, but I'd love to see the Scottish highlands!


Karen H in NC said...

Love your bucket list. I don't have one myself, but I would like to visit Trinidad & Tobago, Antarctica and Australia. Maybe someday.

Hazel West said...

I'm with you with sleeping out in the Highlands (wrapped in a plaid, the old fashioned way;) And you're right about the bagpipes. It is genetic. It doesn't matter how little Scottish blood you have, if you have any, you can't help but feel "called" by the pipes.

Catherine Lee said...

Isabel...Too funny. Bring snacks to Iceland and the Scottish Highlands?! That's a hoot.

I don't have a bucket list. I guess I just never thought about it before.

N. Gemini Sasson said...

Doh! I forgot - run a half marathon. Actually, it used to be marathon, but I can never keep my body from falling to pieces long enough to build up the mileage. I may downgrade that to a 15K... or 10K. Age makes us more practical.

cait045 said...

Of all the reality TV shows Amazing Race is the one I would want to be on too. Get to see the world!

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