Bucket Lists

What do you mean, you don’t have a bucket list? What the hell are you going to think about when you die?

I’m not being morbid. Let’s say you live to a ripe old age, what then? Exactly! We don’t know. Maybe there isn’t a second chance. So surely you’d rather spend your last moments, remembering the wonderful and intense things you’ve experienced; rather than thinking “Oh, I wish I’d…..”.

You wish you’d what? Painted that picture? Climbed that mountain? Learnt how to knit?

So why don’t you? Why wait ’til it’s too late? Why not grab a pad and pen right now? Why not sit sit down and write down a list of the things you’d like to do before you die? Then you can start doing them. It’s that simple.

My bucket list? Sure, I‘ve ticked plenty of things off my list. This blog for a start. Then there‘s the book with my name in it, the short film I directed, the planes I leapt out of, the igloo I slept in, the surf I cantored through on horseback, the copy of 1984 I read (before 1984), the song I sung badly on stage (I never said you have to be any good at the things you try. You don’t even have to succeed; although failure to jump out of a plane correctly could seriously shorten the amount of time you have left, to tick things off your list).

There’s still plenty of items to do on my bucket list too, and time is constantly running out; that’s life. I’ve yet to walk on hot coals for a start. Why do I want to do that? Does it matter? It’s on my list, and that‘s all that matters. I‘ve yet to complete a novel (writing one I mean, not reading one) and that’s a biggie.

What would be the first thing on your list?

Go on! Have a go! Just do it! Carpe diem. Call it what you want, but at the end of the day (and your life), would you rather not skid to a halt, rather than shuffle off this mortal coil? Would you rather not finish with a satisfied smile on your face, rather than regret? I know I would.

Right then, where can I get hold of some knitting needles, and some wool?

A Gun For A Pencil

The problem with being a writer is that at some point you have to put down your pen and face the real world; over which you have very little control (unlike the worlds we create in our heads).

I can not advocate the killing of anyone; let alone someone who draws pictures for a living.

I will always defend satire, and the right to express views I disagree with; and I do not agree with some of the views held by those who have just lost their lives in Paris. Having read translations of some of the cartoons, I find some of them offensive. That is not justification for their murder.

I don’t believe in censorship; I‘m a writer for fuck‘s sake. I control the characters and scenarios I create. If they ever offend you, I’m sorry; it is never my intention to offend gratuitously.

There is very little I can control in the real world. One of the few things I CAN control is the way I behave; as well as the things I say. It might not seem like very much, but it is in fact a remarkably powerful position to be in. And we all share that power.

My suggestion is we use our power responsibly. And accept the consequences. More importantly, consider the consequences before you act.

As for those who are offended, you too are in control of your actions. How you react is up to you.