Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List – Ukuleles and Children’s books by Annette Rochelle Aben

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Interview and this week it is author and poet Annette Rochelle Aben who is going to share her top two Ultimate Bucket list items.

I never thought much about having a bucket list. Yet, I recall, a couple years ago, I spent the better part of New Year’s Eve writing down things I wanted to achieve over the coming year.

Feeling rather accomplished, I put the list away and didn’t see it again until I found it quite by accident and was most surprised to realize that there were 3 items I could cross off with flourish and fanfare. So, yeah, I guess I can share a couple of the items that have yet to come to fruition.

Ultimate Bucket List One -Learn to Play the Ukulele

Not that I want to be famous for this ability (I’m no Grace Vanderwaal wannabe)I just find the instrument fascinating. Of course, I find harps fascinating, however ukuleles have captured my heart. I love the sounds they make (when strummed properly) and I believe it might be easy to write songs using a ukulele. Now, I can sing, so I also think it would be fun to learn songs I enjoy singing while being my own accompaniment. Wouldn’t it be great to visit shut ins and play music with my little ukulele?

Yes, there is the fact that they really can’t up and leave… #CaptiveAudience

So first, I need a ukulele and I was gifted one recently. A friend of my sister’s, decided to offer me the use of her son’s ukulele, as he hadn’t touched it in years. I was given the Cinderella admonishment that I would have limited time with it because once he discovered it was missing, I would have to give it back. Oh, and it is missing a string. Still, I would have it to use until I got one of my own.

News Flash!

The son is glad the ukulele found a new home, and I have asked for a new string for my birthday. Considering my birthday is exactly 2 months before Christmas, it is totally possible that by Christmas, I will be serenading kith and kin (and cats) with my stellar ukulele skills! I shall keep you in the loop.

Here you go Annette… my favourite Ukulele artists Jake Shimabukuro – with While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

Perhaps now I need a Go Fund Me campaign to get the dough to record a CD…

Ultimate Bucket List Two – Get My Children’s Book Illustrated

Ages ago, I wrote a short story about an elephant named Ellis, who was bullied and a cat named Claudius who was a bully. Because the story had so much personal meaning, I found it difficult to let anyone else read it, then they might know my personal shame. So, my little rhyming tale, was tucked away in my “I’ll get to it one day” files.

That was until I was coaxed, by another blogger, to share the story, privately, with him and he would offer critique. I swallowed hard, submitted the story, and was met with the offer to post it on his blog. I thought, well, it can’t be illustrated if I never let anyone see it, so why not. The response was overwhelmingly supportive. (doing my best Sally Field) People liked it, they really, really liked it!

Next, I shared it with some close friends and my sister. I mention my sister, specifically, because she is an artist of remarkable talent and yet, only creates when the muse strikes. Within minutes of walking away with my story, she came to me with eyes on fire and stated that she wanted to illustrate the tale of Ellis and Claudius. I was thunderstruck and kept shaking my head YES!

Of course, as I said, she works when the muse strikes. It has been over a year since that moment of excitement. Casually, I have brought the topic up again and have been summarily dismissed. I have even attempted to draw the characters myself (no one needs to see that).

Yes, I have considered having other illustrators take a whack at it but I would LOVE to have my sister do the artwork. Believe me, you would enjoy it as well.

Thank you, Sally, for offering this opportunity to share some of my dreams. I believe that before you know it, I’ll be writing a song about Ellis and Claudius and playing it for captive audiences everywhere on my little ukulele!

My thanks to Annette for sharing her two top Ultimate Bucket list wishes and I do hope that both come true. It would be lovely to see Annette’s children’s books join her others on the shelves.

Annette has been receiving great reviews for her book Perspective including one by Colleen Chesebro this week.

About the book

Everything in this book is designed to lighten the load, uplift the spirit or otherwise aid in shifting one’s perspective on life. Because the only thing we have going for us sometimes is our outlook. May you always believe that something wonderful is about to happen and that something good will come out of every situation you are experiencing. It really IS all about replacing one thought with another!

The most recent review from Colleen Chesebro

Perspective is an uplifting collection of poems, meditations, stream of consciousness prayers, daily affirmations, and photos compiled by an author who possesses the soul of a true spiritualist.

Each selection is loving written, encouraging readers to get in touch with their feelings and to embrace the positive. The message is clear, we define our own reality by the thoughts we choose. When we shift our perceptions our vision clears and we find truth and wisdom.

I’ve read this book twice as it is a short read. Yet, each reading has given me insight into something I didn’t catch the first time around. At times, I felt the author’s words were written primarily for me. What a fantastic connection to experience.

Annette is a prolific author and has published many books of poetry and inspirational books. If you are looking for a bit of magic to help you through some tough days, this book will wrap you in a warm glow.

Read the reviews and buy the collection:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Find more reviews at Goodreads:

Connect to Annette via her blog:


My thanks to Annette for sharing her two top wishes and please help put it out there and perhaps pave the way for them to come true.

If you would like to participate in this series or any other of the book promotions, you will find everything in this link:




76 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List – Ukuleles and Children’s books by Annette Rochelle Aben

  1. That is awesome Annette! At our school, we have ukelele classes for the 10 – 11-year olds!
    And I have a poetic children’s story I’d love to get illustrated and published, but I can’t work out what to do with it… needs illustrations, it would be a picture book too!
    Your story about Ellis the elephant intrigues me!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List – | Annette Rochelle Aben

  3. Annette, nice bucket list items. I taught myself to lay guitar in my twenties but could only go so far, then taught my 5 year old daughter who surpassed me and is a talented musician. I am also looking for kid’s books illustrators which is annoying when I have talented artists among my family but all busy. Sigh I can only draw stick figures.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Everyone in my immediate family (and my ex-husband) can play the guitar. My siblings can play at least 3 different instruments each! So good on you and your daughter, I wish her a lifetime of joy with her talent. You know, in a heart beat I would go to another illustrator if not for the fact that it would hurt my sister deeply, as she DID approach me with her excitement to do the work. I am praying for guidance on this one and I know it will all come together at exactly the right time and in the perfect way. ❤ Best of luck with your book. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely bucket list…..I tinkle the ivories a little and I am sure your wish will come true a truly lovely bucket list Annette …Micki the monkey is my foray into a child’s story but alas not in print only in my memory and each telling was slightly different but always requested( every night)…lol..

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Wow, Annette, fabulous Ultimate Bucket list items! I enjoy your fiction writing and would LOVE to see your children’s book illustrated and published. And who knows … you might see me walking up your drive one day, guitar in hand, excited about the duet you and I will play and sing. You rock, girlfriend 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List – Ukuleles and Children’s books by Annette Rochelle Aben | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  7. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Dionne Warwick, Posts from Your Archives and Elephants | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  8. Annette, I will certainly give your Ukelele uploads to you-tube a go…. And good luck with getting your sister to illustrate your book. They say faith can move mountains… but no one mentioned a sister!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great bucket list, Annette, which sounds achievable. Maybe if you let your sister see this blog post and she understands how important it is for you that she does the illustrations it will encourage her muse to visit. The story of Ellis the bullied elephant is intriguing.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Well it sounds like you’re getting your Ukulele wish and maybe somebody will step up sooner to get your children’s book illustrated. It sounds like an important book for kids. Oh, and loved that song played by the ukulele in the video. ❤ xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’ve never been musically inclined and my very last art teacher told me that I draw like a three-year-old child, so I would never have been any help to you, Annette. However, so pleased to hear that you have accomplished those two items on your bucket list. Ellis and Claudius sound so cute. I look forward to seeing them in hardback.


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