Want List

One of the wonderful-but-weird parts of getting a book deal is that it’s a dream come true. Like: yay! But also: now what? I believe in gratitude, but I also believe in dreaming. In telling the universe what you want. It might not always happen, and chances are good it won’t happen in the way you expect, but I like to put it out there. Getting my book deal was the culmination of a lot of dreaming (and some luck and several years of hard work). I also got to check off several other things on my list of dream-wants: working as a full-time writer, paying off my credit cards and student loans, taking my best friend to a weekend at a spa, buying a Betsey Johnson dress, and making a significant donation to a local theatre company.

Now I am making a new want list. It’s inspired in part by playing around on Pinterest for hours last night. Some of these things are fairly unattainable. (Living in DC, I will probably never have a swimming pool. And despite Jackson’s video, I still don’t even understand how the NYT list works.) Still, here’s my list:

* a pink velvet settee (like this)
* a chandelier (also: to consistently remember how to spell chandelier) 
* a claw-foot bathtub 
* built-in bookshelves
* a swimming pool
* a really fun & fabulous launch party
* a signing at my hometown library with lots of family & old friends
* to get a letter from someone I don’t know who loves my book
* for one of my books to hit the New York Times bestseller list
* to go to Prague (I basically blame Laini Taylor & DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE for this one)
* to be able to hold plank pose without dying
* to make homemade ravioli from scratch
* to bake bread from scratch (I have instructions from Baking Goddess Saundra Mitchell
* a trip to CA  (I’m doing this in Oct!) 
* to make a donation to this other local theatre company I really dig
What are a few things on your want list? Dream big! 

15 Responses

  1. Of course, I'd love to get published and to hit the NYT bestseller list! Those are definites on my want list.

    I'd also love to visit Prague (I think we should all blame Laini Taylor) — and would also be insanely happy to get into the dental school of my choice. 🙂

  2. James Phillips

    I used to have a lot of personal dreams and I'm sure a few are still banging around in my head, but my dreams now concern the future of my daughter. Everything I used to want for myself I want for her. I want her to be happy and find her place in the world and be surrounded by those that she loves. I'm pretty much fine with having a stable enough job to feed, clothe, shelter and insure her.

  3. Your list sounds quite doable!

    Right now I am quite busy manifesting the perfect house in Maryland. It will be brick, have at least 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms with the master on the ground floor, a finished basement and a 1-car garage, a kitchen that is not so tiny I step on the cat food every time I turn around, with original mid-century cabinets and a gas oven, a small low-maintenance fenced yard, a fireplace, at a down payment I can afford while keeping my mortgage payment under $600 a month. Oh, and while I'm dreaming I'll ask for a pool too!

    In a super dream world the house would be solar/wind/etc. powered and off the grid! And full of super cute mid-century furniture!

    I would like to feel like my career is always moving forward, although I don't have special aims for that. I don't care so much at this point if it's an award or a list or just decent sales and a nice bit of fan mail.

    I'd like to be invited to more events like book festivals and library visits and such and eventually get comfortable enough with groups to be able to do teen writing workshops or some kind of mentoring thing…

    I'd like to sell Alfred and Olivia as a trilogy!

    I'd like to get better at gardening, fermenting foods (like making my own sauerkraut), Japanese, playing the ukulele, yoga in general.

    1. Ooh, a house with a fireplace! I want that too. I would also like that mortgage payment. Which is…approximately $2000 less than mine. Is MD really that cheap? Egads. But maybe once you're here we can do events together!

      Oh, I'd like you to sell A+O as a trilogy too! I want to read that!

      This is such a great list! Thanks for playing along!

      1. Well, HAGERSTOWN is that cheap. I'm all about the living beneath my means… The rest of it isn't…at all…(well, unless you want to live on the Eastern shore or the faaaar west) which is why I haven't even really bothered looking elsewhere…(except so far as to determine that I can't afford it!)

  4. Great list, Jess. I will say I have one small but solid built-in bookshelf in my apartment, and it's one of my favorite things about this place!

  5. I want a lake house. So badly. The lake itself would be quiet and unpopulated. At night you'd hear nothing but crickets and see nothing but stars. There would be lots of pine trees and I'd have a boat and a dock and I'd also need a fireplace for the cooler evenings. I'd get a dog to keep me company. And my husband; he'd come along too. The house would overlook the water and have a big wooden deck that I could sit on in the fall, wrapped in a blanket, drinking coffee and writing while the sun came up.

    When I picture myself as a "writer," this is honestly the image I've had in my head since I was about 8 years old. I need to make this happen.

    1. I love this. My grandparents have a cabin that's a short hike from a lake in the middle of nowhere, PA. Definitely has the pine trees & stars & crickets & a cast-iron woodstove. It's very rustic (no running water, outhouse, no cell service!) but I love it. I'd love it even more if it was ON the water though.

      When this becomes a reality, writing retreat? Please?

  6. Mrs. Contos

    A cabin in the woods in Western Maryland for camping but also for hiding from zombies when the time comes. It could have a pool but I'd like it to foremost have a trapdoor (secret, of course) for truly hiding from said zombies. But, also, the hiding area must be connected to an elaborate network of caves and tunnels leading to other underground survivors so I don't end up dying down there while zombies feast upstairs on my camping friends.

    To not be convinced the things I write are crap and maybe one day show them to another human being.

    A baby, if we're being honest here. Two, if the first one takes after his father a little too much.

    For autumn to roll around twice a year. I'm not sure which season I'd sacrifice but probably summer. I can travel and find summer elsewhere, and hopefully a summer with a lot less sweating.

    *Spoiler Alert*: The Harry Potter movies in a nice bluray collection with lots of special features, one of which must be a sincere apology for burning down the burrow in Half Blood Prince in a halfhearted attempt at "action" instead of having a more powerful and lengthy battle at the end right before Dumbledore bites it.

    Long hair again.

    To be invited to a fun and fabulous launch party. 😉

    That was fun!

    1. This is a great list! You are so invited to my launch party. Not that I have planned it yet but still. Also, I can't wait for you to have an adorable baby we can play with until such a time as we are ready for our own. Also-also, I am so with you on autumn. I would sacrifice summer in a heartbeat but Steve would be unhappy with me.

  7. janellemadigan

    I think your list is fantastic! I also believe in dreaming; I believe in magic and I think we have to believe something is possible before it can actually be possible.

    My wants list would include owning my own home (a lovely little writer's cottage for me, my husband, and our animals to share), to publish and share my stories with the world, and also, a trip to California. My husband and I have been wanting to go for years, but something always come up, whether a family obligation or a financial one, so CA goes on the back burner. This year in particular I've been longing for a garden that's more than just a few potted plants on my balcony.

    Alice Walker wrote something to the effect of, "We cannot ask for more than this: Peace in a garden of one's own." Amen. A room to write, a garden to weed, and people we love with whom we can share these things. 🙂

    1. I love the IDEA of a garden, but I am terrible at actually weeding & watering things. That's why I love my tea roses best. They're so low-maintenance! Our herbs & hanging baskets always wilt & die in the summer heat.

      My husband & I have been wanting to go to CA for 5 years–we'd wanted to do it for our honeymoon but couldn't afford it. Now, finally, we can! We're planning a 10-day trip this fall–to San Diego to visit one of my best friends from college, then up the coast to do some wine tours (& I want to see the Winchester House!), then a few days in San Francisco. I've never been out west at all. So excited!

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