Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List – Author Luanne Castle with Time Travel and Zeeland

Welcome to the Sunday Interview and the theme is The Ultimate Bucket List.

In this interview series I would love to know what your top TWO items are on your bucket list and if you have not written one yet, then perhaps it is time to get your thinking caps on.

Here is more about how you can participate here:

My guest today is winner in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards, Luanne Castle whose first collection of poetry, Doll God, was published by Aldrich Press in 2015. Luanne’s poetry and prose are forthcoming or have appeared in CopperNickel, Phoebe, Story Shack, the museum of americana, Grist, Crack the Spine, The Antigonish Review, TAB, River Teeth, Lunch Ticket, The Review Review, and many other journals. Her latest book, a poetry collection Kin Types was released in August.

She has been a Fellow at the Center for Ideas and Society at the University of California, Riverside, and has studied English and Creative Writing at UCR (PhD), Western Michigan University (MFA), and Stanford University. She divides her time between California and Arizona, where she shares land with a herd of javelina.

Image from Pinterest.

I will now hand over to Luanne to share her top two items on her bucket list and although not officially one of her top items.. I think that her father’s wish to have an empty bucket close to him is something that we should all consider.

For most of my life I’ve either gone a bit stupidly after what I most wanted or patiently delayed it until it was time. I never thought in terms of a bucket list. But that changed when my 86-year-old dad was dying from multiple myeloma and preparing for hospice. He instructed us to put an empty bucket on display at the funeral home for his visitation. He said to put a flower in it, but otherwise it was to be empty, signifying that he had completed everything on his bucket list and all that was left to do now was to die.

After Dad passed away two years ago, I started seeing the world in light of the possibility of a bucket list. Truthfully, I had been so blessed with a hard-working, caring husband and two wonderful children, as well as a measure of financial security and stability that allowed me to do some of the things that I wanted to do.

But, still, there is so much in the world.

  1. I want to visit Cleveland Amory’s Black Beauty Ranch in Texas to see the work of a fine animal rescue organization and to honor the memory of a great man, writer, and animal welfare warrior.
  2. I want to visit the villages where my ancestors lived in Europe.
  3. I want to go on a Napa winery tour with friends.
  4. I want to be involved in a major animal rescue if, God forbid, it was to become necessary near me.
  5. I really want to see my kids achieve successes for which they feel extreme pride.

But Sally asked for my top two, and said they had to be for me, just me, not for other people, not for the animals. I started mulling over what I really want to achieve before I kick the bucket. I’m sure that achieving a measure of success with my writing has to be near the top of my list. I’d like to win a major literary or book award without spending my retirement in contest fees. Or perhaps appear on the New York Times list. Nothing too big (haha), just an endorsement that says it matters that I wrote something. Nevertheless, I’ll tell you the truth. It doesn’t matter that much if this doesn’t happen because I really like trying to make a difference in this world on the small scale at which I have been living.

Number one on my bucket list extends into fantasy, but after seeing so many “science fiction dreams” turn into reality in the form of technology, I have hope that I may live long enough to time travel. For my travels, I have to be invisible. We’ve all read the books and seen the movies about what happens when people time travel and they interact with the people of the time period. I don’t want to travel to Tombstone, Arizona, in 1881 and get shot by lawmen before I even have a chance to change into the appropriate outfit. Or to wind up on the front line of a medieval battle without my chainmail and mace.

Perhaps this video Luanne might give you hope of achieving time travel… believe it or not. Uploaded by Fact Bits...

My second item on my bucket list is linked to the first – With my invisibility cloak (or however my secrecy will be assured), I’d love to hang around Henry VIII’s court and see for myself what the intrigue was like. Better yet would be Hatshepsut’s court when she ruled Egypt as Pharaoh. One monarch I’d love to see in action would be Queen Seondeok of Silla, in 7th century Korea, who initiated a renaissance in art and literature. I’d like to visit inside the homes of 17th and 18th century Dutch people, including my ancestors, living in towns in Zeeland and Zuid-Holland. I could learn more about how family members interacted with each other and how individuals comported themselves. In fact, I’d love to be that fly on the wall in homes all over the world in all historical periods!

Here is one of the Islands of Zeeland and the link to the regional tourist website – Perhaps that might help get you started on returning to where your ancestors came from Luanne.

Books by Luanne Castle

About Luannes recently pubished poetry collection – Kin Types

Kin Types is a collection of lyric poetry, prose poetry, and flash prose that imaginatively retells the lives of private individuals from previous generations. Using family history research, the writer has reconstructed the stories of women and men from Michigan to Illinois to the Netherlands. Read together, the pieces create a history of women dealing with infant mortality, vanity, housewife skills, divorce, secret abortion, the artist versus mother dilemma, mysterious death, wife beating, and a brave heroine saving a family’s home.

Two of the recent reviews for Kin Types

Emotional and gripping, Kin Types by Luanne Castle is a collection unlike anything I’ve ever read before. At moments heart wrenching, at moments disturbing, these powerful glimpses into the lives of the women and men from Castle’s family history will grab you right away.

While part of me hoped for more lighter moments, the reality is that our ancestors lived in dangerous, difficult times. Castle captures that reality so well with her poetry and prose. She writes a fascinating blog on family history at The Family Kalamazoo. Kin Types is a wonderful new way to bring those people to life for others.

Kin Types on September 26, 2017

A very interesting collection. I love how they are all so different. Some of them are poems some are more prose and some are thoughts or lists. Each one will touch a nerve, will reach into your heart. A few of these are sad and others are encouraging. You can almost picture some of this for your own family.

I really love the whole idea of the book. It’s like doing your genealogy or family tree/history in poems. And I am so glad that she wanted to share it with us!

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Read more reviews and follow Luanne on Goodreads:

Connect to Luanne Castle

Amazon author page:

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure that you enjoyed Luanne’s bucket list as much as I have. It would be great if your could share.. Thanks Sally

This entry was posted in Book Promotion and tagged , , by Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.. Bookmark the permalink.

About Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

My name is Sally Cronin and I am doing what I love.. Writing. Books, short stories, Haiku and blog posts. My previous jobs are only relevant in as much as they have gifted me with a wonderful filing cabinet of memories and experiences which are very useful when putting pen to paper. I move between non-fiction health books and posts and fairy stories, romance and humour. I love variety which is why I called my blog Smorgasbord Invitation and you will find a wide range of subjects. You can find the whole story here. Find out more at

86 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List – Author Luanne Castle with Time Travel and Zeeland

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Sunday Interview: Author Luanne Castle with Time Travel and Zeeland – The Militant Negro™

  2. This is a really lovely bucket list inspired by a man who did all he wanted to do and managed to depart this plane having accomplished all he wanted. Which is a great moral lesson in itself. The Time travel idea is intriguing. It would be remarkable to get to see the truth of all the stories we hear and so interesting to take a trip through the ages to see how your family lived in different time periods and where they came from. As I was reading, I was thinking about Sally and David’s DNA analysis and thinking how fascinating it would be to go back to your very distant ancestors before history started, see their lives and even get into their mindset a little. Who knows, if not in this life, perhaps they will do day trips in the next one.. which is better because then you have an eternity to explore the past…. Beats reading about it on Wikipedia!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much. My father was sick for months and talked to me every day by phone when I was too far away. He really thought he had lived a full life and had been very blessed. He used the time to try to put things to right that he hadn’t felt the best about and then he died in a peaceful frame of mine though his physical state was ravaged. I thought the empty bucket was a brilliant stroke.
      Following the DNA thread is not always easy, but HOW FASCINATING, I agree. Trying to see what their lives were like is what I tried to do in Kin Types. What a different perspective when you feel you are inside looking out and definitely beats reading about it on Wikipedia!

      Liked by 2 people

      • The idea your father had of the empty bucket was incredibly expressive and deeply moving to read about. A tangible antidote to a world where everyone always wants more and feels resentful for the things they haven’t got rather than blessed for the things they have. It is something I am now always going to bear in mind.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m with you on the invisibility cloak, Luanne ~ has been on my bucket list since childhood 🙂 Also with you on animal rights. Perhaps we can muster up a couple of invisibility cloaks and travel the world releasing animals from labs, zoos, circuses, and the like? Another dynamic duo 🙂 Great interview, Sally. Hugs to both of you ♥♥

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List – Author Luanne Castle with Time Travel and Zeeland | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  5. Loved the empty bucket at the funeral. I hope I can feel such contentment and satisfaction at the end of my life.
    I enjoyed the time travel video, Sally. Day trips would be good. Like Luanne I’ve no wish to actualy interact with people in the past (or future) – just to observe.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Cafe and Bookstore revamp, Archived Post bonanza and great guests. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  7. Luanne, your dad sounds like a wonderful man. ❤
    We're on the same wavelength with time travel, although I've always envisioned a cloaked vehicle that has coffee and running water. I like my comforts. 😉 I would also love to visit Henry VIII's court. I suppose we'd need a universal translator, as well. And protection from diseases–smallpox, the plague, etc. (Can you tell I've thought about this a bit?)
    I'd like to visit some of the people I've written about, especially the couples I wrote about with marital problems in late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Pennsylvania to see if I got their stories right.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Since we hashed out some of the details on Twitter, Merril, I think we have our vehicle designed fairly well. The diseases bit is a problem. There is an article I saw the other day (and did not take time to read) about a travel writer with agoraphobia who uses Google Street to write. I asked about smells and interacting with people and stepping in dog s**t. That’s the problem with my fantasies of time travel–it tends to be too much Google Street and not enough 19th century Whitechapel haha. I need to be more realistic and more prepared. So maybe there needs to be an all-in-one vaccine?
      I wish you could visit those people! I’d go with you, if you let me!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, an all-in-one vaccine sounds like a good idea. Hmmm. . .well, if one has a time machine, then presumably it goes forward as well as backward. Our future selves, if we survive present times, may have such a vaccine.
        Yes, you can go with me, if I can go with you to visit your ancestors! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • I almost feel like that is too much to ask for–to go forward too. And then I worry. After all, I’ve seen two versions of The Time Machine, although I can’t remember if I ever actually read it.
        Yes, you may come with me!

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Luanne, Perhaps we have all been to those places from the past? What draws us to specific time periods? Mine is the Great Library in Alexandria but as much as I think I know the history, Henry’s court has never flashed across my radar as it does yours. I identify with your Dutch thoughts having lived there for three years and felt completely at home (Limburg). What makes us feel so familiar with some places? I love your dads bucket, he sounds like the guy it would be great to spend some time with. Good luck & Namasté

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with you exactly. I did feel at home when I briefly visited the Netherlands, but I attributed that to growing up in an area in Michigan that has a very large Dutch population. However, I also felt particularly at home in Scotland and Jamaica, whereas while I LOVED Italy didn’t feel that sense of familiarity that I did in Scotland and Jamaica. Now I’m intrigued, though, to find out more about the Great Library in Alexandria! Thank you, Steve!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Awesome interview, Luanne. I’m like you – I have so much to be grateful for, it’s like asking what I want for my birthday or Christmas. I’d like to have knees that worked better, and I’d love for one of my books to be really valued, but other than that, I guess the time travel works for me. Meet you in Europe in the 1800s.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sally, Luanne is such a warm and open fellow blogger. We all feel she is one of our favorite friends. Thank you for the spark of the bucket list and how it got Luanne to picture what would be wonderful results to her own life well lived. You’re fantastic hostess, Sally. 💐
    Luanne, I sincerely hope you have the accolades which you deserve and your children achieve happiness in their choice of success. hugs xo 💖

    Liked by 1 person

I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

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