My Mystery Writing Bucket List

To tell the truth, I never really had one, but if I did I have there is one thing I could cross off:

Riding in an ambulance.

Coming home from a wonderful vacation visiting my eldest daughter and her kids and grand kids, we stopped off at a Taco Bell to visit the bathroom and I tripped over those yellow bumps by a handicapped parking spot. I took a header, split my temple open, hurt my hand and knee, and ribs. I bled so much, a nurse who stopped by to help insisted on calling 911–and so I got my ambulance ride.

I also got to experience a very busy and well-run emergency room.

Both events are filed away for future mysteries.

Through the years, I’ve had other experiences that could easily have been on a bucket list and I’ve either been able to use them in a mystery or filed away for a later one.

Attending a Pow Wow gave me a great idea for a mystery and I used it in the first Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Deadly Omen.

A visit to a sacred rock shelter to view pictographs including one of the legendary Hairy Man, the Tule River Indians version of Big Foot. Yes, the Hairy Man has appeared in three of my mysteries: Dispel the Mist, The Invisible Path, and the latest, River Spirits.

DispelTheMistHalfLetter Invisible Path River Spirits

Going on a police ride-along, is another good bucket list item.

I’ve done three. First time was with my policeman son-in-law. No seat belts back then, so at times the ride was a bit scary. He also had me follow while he chased a burglar. Second time was with a brand new officer in a small department–he wasn’t pleased to have me along. Third time was with a female officer who let me go with her on every call except a family dispute. In the wee hours of the morning, she bared her soul about the problems of being the only female in the department, and being a single mom. I’ve used a lot of what I learned from her in both of my mystery series.

I’ve ridden in a helicopter, all sizes of airplances–including a 6 seater.

While attending different writers conferences, and conventions,  I’ve visited many of our  states including Alaska and Hawaii.

Going to MWA’s Edgar week in New York, followed by a train trip to DC and attending Malice Domestique was a thrilling time.  One of the highlights in New York was chatting with Mary Higgins Clark whom I’d met many years before at a tiny mystery conference.

So, what would I add to this writing bucket list?

Truthfully, I can’t think of a thing. I’m truly grateful for all my life’s experiences and have drawn on them many times for my writing.

My question now is to all the rest of you, if you have a bucket list share some of what’s on it, writing related or not.


8 thoughts on “My Mystery Writing Bucket List

  1. Reblogged this on Lake Erie Mysteries and commented:
    I’ve been thinking about this topic and when I have my list complete, I’ll share it. For now, see how your own list compares.


  2. I would like more time for everything! I want to travel. My bucket list it to see all 50 United States. Most of the ones I haven’t seen are in the Midwest and East. Being farmers/ranchers we seem to always be tied down to the land. Hubby is semi-retired and we hope to start traveling more in another year. (Have to finish building the outbuildings first).


    1. I probably won’t be doing a whole lot of long distance traveling anymore–flying isn’t as fun as it used to be. Fortunately, I’ve been to nearly all the states except for North Dakota, Minnesota and the New England states, so I’ve got a pretty good idea what all of them are like. Going to various Bouchercons and Left Coast Crimes took me to cities I’d have never visited otherwise.


  3. I’m with Amber: time! My bucket list as a writer is to keep going with my current series, start a new series of cozy mysteries in Cape May, and write a stand alone that takes place on the US – Canadian border in 1812. All would entail fabulous research opportunities – traveling, reading, visiting archives, talking to locals- I just need the time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jane, I too want to keep on writing. Probably won’t travel as much as I used to, but I did sign up for Left Coast Crime next year in Phoenix, and of course I’ll keep going to events over on the coast, and others that we can drive too.


  4. It’s Monday in Australia already. I’m sure Janet thinks you’re right on time.
    My bucket list as a writer is to have time to write all the ideas for standalones and a possible second series as well as keep with my current one. I guess that’s called retirement.

    Liked by 1 person

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