Friday, April 06, 2012

on bucket lists

Maybe I'm inspired because it's Holy Week, which is when Manila shuts down and becomes a ghost town, and you can drive from the north to the south of the city in 30 minutes instead of 3 hours, and the streets are empty except for Guardian Angel buses careening like drunken madmen and DPWH road workers. Maybe it's because I'm putting off finishing a story, or because I've spent the last couple of hours reading fanfic instead of working on the prompts that have been sitting in my inbox for the past couple of months. But basically I want to talk about bucket lists.

But first, here is a photo of the last cereal prawn that I ate for dinner tonight.

I don't want to have an exact round number for a bucket list, but I suppose since we're talking about things I want to do before I die, here they are in random order.

1. publish a novel

See, here's the thing about people who write novels: I admire them immensely. I admire the discipline and sheer stubbornness and utter patience that novel-writers have when it comes to their work. Even people like Stephen King, who manages to churn out reams of creative work in a very short span of time, or Neil Gaiman, who flits from genre to genre like an ever-beloved buzzing bee, sustain and contain and retain (win!) come up with admirable and mind-blowing stuff all the time. And I want to do that. I want to tell a story bound in gum and glue and paper and ink that will be read by people. I mean, say what you will about the solitary writer - writing is also a performance, acted out in silence, to an audience whose applause you will never hear.

2. visit the doctor who experience in cardiff

I think this is very self-explanatory. Also, I may just implode into a fangirl-shaped ball of flames.

3. visit the eagle & child in oxford

You have to understand: Tolkien was a very important part of my literary journey. I read The Lord of the Rings every year when I was in high school. I have at least five editions of the trilogy. I have read The Silmarillion backwards and forwards. For a time, I learned how to write in Quenya. This is very important to me.

4. write a script for a tv show that i love/d (and have it actually produced)

Similar to my need to actually have a novel published, I think writing for television can either be one of the easiest job in the world (if you are Chuck Lorre) or the hardest job in the world (if you are either JJ Abrams, Russell T. Davies, or pre-Doctor Who Series 5 Steven Moffatt). I would like to be more of an Abrams than a Lorre, and would like to see that vision translated on television. Plus, I've always felt that good television (i.e., NOT A REALITY SHOW PRODUCED BY MTV) is simply another form of storytelling, and it allows the viewer to participate in meaning-making, much like reading, and should be considered a form of art.

5. see the aurora borealis

This speaks to the seven year old in me that always wanted to be an astronomer, until I realized that that I would forever be awful when it came to physics and mathematics.

6. go scuba diving

Guys. I live in the Philippines. We're in the middle of the freaking ocean. I think that says enough, doesn't it?

7. see "rent" performed on broadway

When I was shopping for universities to attend for my masters' degree, I have to admit that I considered a lot of New York City universities simply because of their proximity to Broadway and, more specifically, to the Nederlander Theater. True, "Rent"'s run on Broadway has already closed, but I'm still holding out hope for a revival. This musical is on the top of my list of musicals I need to see before I die, simply because for much of my college life, this has taught me so much about love and art and creation (though sadly, not masturbation) and living the best life you can live for now.

8. experience a white christmas

What can I say? I've never experienced snow.

9. visit all the continents in the world (yes, even antarctica!)

Because the world is a vast and interesting and beautiful place, and it will not last forever, and because I will not last forever.

10. find that elusive "room of one's own" that everyone seems to be talking about

Virginia Woolf might have gotten something right with this one - I just want a space of my own, lovingly carved into the hollows of the universe, painted white and blue and with yellow flowers on the windowsill and the ocean peeking into the window every so often. I imagine it filled with morning sunlight and a light breeze and, perhaps, a desk where I can write and remember and tell stories. Isn't that what it's all about, anyway?

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