Tag Archives: writing

Summer Bucket List 2016

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For the last two years, I’ve made a summer bucket list with 25 things on it. Both years, I left many items undone. Last year, I counted the days in summer (95 days) and thought that it would be plenty of time to get 25 things done (average of one every 3-4 days), but I realized I’m not willing to eliminate all other summer activities just to do the things on this list by a certain time (too much pressure!). This year, I’m making a more realistic list of 15 items. Since there are 13 weeks (plus 3 days) this summer, I can do an average of just about one each week.

I tried to focus the majority of list items around free or very affordable activities, because I’m saving up for my road trip at the end of the summer. Same with last year, I’ve picked some items from my existing list and added some new items just for the summer, and I don’t include things I already know I’ll do. I’m also using the same key as the full list: bold = completed; linked = link to the post about it; * = in progress; (hidden) = well, you get it.

Summer Bucket List 2016

  1. Volunteer for a non-profit organization
  2. Go geocaching
  3. Look out the window of a room in the top floor of a downtown skyscraper
  4. Release a floating lantern (update – I probably won’t be able to do it, it’s illegal in most states)
  5. (hidden)
  6. Eat rabbit
  7. Participate in a flash mob
  8. Enter a recipe contest
  9. Help a local small business with a project
  10. (hidden)*
  11. Learn to do a magic trick
  12. Have someone buy a piece of artwork of mine
  13. (hidden)
  14. Write a letter to a stranger
  15. Write an article for publication


What’s on your summer bucket list?
Comment and let me know. Let’s do this together!

“My writing is an expression of what I do with my life” – Interview with Ashish Joy

Today’s interview is with Ashish Joy, an author, father, and youth pastor in Portland, Oregon. He shares his thoughts on writing (and the key to achieving a big goal), why people in general inspire him, and the best advice he’s ever received.

Ashish Joy and his family

Photo provided by Ashish Joy – used with permission

Name and website: Ashish Joy

Fun fact about you:
I can tell you the make and model of 90% of cars on the road by memory (random I know, but something I picked up when I was a kid)

Funner fact:
I studied Computer Science for two years in college, before I made the switch to theology and pastoral ministry

Funnest fact:
I am a youth pastor who never thought I’d become a youth pastor. In Bible college, I was the last person you would expect to become a youth pastor.

What do you think has been essential to your success as an author?
My writing is an expression of what I do with my life. Whatever I write has to pass through me first. I write as a flawed human, changed by grace, and on the journey of continual growth. It has to be in me first, before I can preach, teach or write. My last book and even the one I’m currently working on, were birthed out of personal growth moments for me. I’m not really sure if that’s a recipe for success, but I know it lets me write with integrity and humility.

What was something that surprised you about writing?
How incredibly hard and deceptively easy it is… let me explain. When you look at a project it can seem overwhelming and gargantuan. If you stay there, you’ll probably never start anything. But then, when you look at the little pieces, and that it’s simply just you taking disciplined, focused time as often as possible, then the project doesn’t seem as hard. So writing is scary in that it can seem massive and impossible, but if you can switch your perspective, it’s also small baby steps that are very possible.

If you had to describe your latest project in 6 words or less, what would you say?
What does following Jesus look like? (a book I’m working on called Unfamiliar Territory)

Who or what inspires you?
People inspire me. I look at the obstacles and struggles that people all around me go through. The fact that people keep at it, overcome the worst life has to offer, and somehow find meaning and fulfillment. I am inspired by authentic people, who are at home in their vulnerability, but fearless in their tenacity to be more.

What is your all-time favorite bucket list item (of yours or someone else’s)?
Haha… I’d love to go sky diving, but I’m deathly afraid of heights, so not sure when this would ever happen.

If you aren’t doing anything related to writing, what are you doing in your free time?
Hanging with my family… my son Brennan is 2 years old, he’s so much fun. Play time with him is a highlight for me. We also just had baby girl. Her name is Adeline and she is so much fun.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t be so serious about life. Laugh at yourself, have fun, and be okay with pausing and enjoying life for what it is.

Readers: Join me in thanking Ashish for sharing his time, stories, and advice with us! If you want to learn more about him, check out his website, which also has his links to the usual social media sites.

Want more interviews like this? Leave a comment and let me know who you would like to see featured, and be sure to sign up to stay updated on all the latest posts!

Everyone Has a Story: Isabelle

This mini-interview is with my friend Isabelle, who says (on a social media site) that one of her favorite quotes is “The most wasted of days is one without laughter” (by E.E. Cummings). Today she shares a few thoughts, including one of her many bucket list goals.

(If you’re interested in being interviewed for this blog or have someone in mind for me to ask, please let me know or leave a note in the comments section.)

Photo provided by Isabelle – Used with permission

Photo provided by Isabelle – Used with permission

What is one of your dreams for your life?
I want to be able to genuinely help people and be a tangible example of love.

What is something on your bucket list?
I have so many things! One of which is write a book. I have no idea what it will be about yet but I really enjoy writing and I like giving myself the challenge of completing a work. 🙂

What is the best advice you ever received?
I’ve heard it many different ways, but I remember my dad telling me once that your greatest strengths can be your greatest weaknesses, and your greatest weaknesses can be your greatest strengths. That piece of advice has always reminded me to check my perspective and look at problems and situations from all sides.

Thanks for sharing your time and dreams with us, Isabelle!

Readers: Do you want to be interviewed, or do you know someone I should ask for an interview? Let me know.

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