To Do List: 2010

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In a few more days we’ll begin a new year and once again disappoint Arthur C. Clarke by failing to discover a mysterious black monolith in orbit around one of Jupiter’s moons (or Saturn’s depending on how you look at it).

What can I say? Sorry, Mr. Clarke. I’ve been busy.

So while I fear that I won’t be birthed out of the dawn to become the new Star Child and will therefore have to bow out of leading humanity on to its next revolution of progress and identity, I do have a few things that I want to get done and I’m excited about all of them.

What follows is a list. The various items upon this list are things that, if I were the Star Child, I should like to make my top priorities. Sadly, though, Star Children are more prone to wandering in and out of the space-time continuum, being desperately cryptic, and dancing to the tune of Thus Spake Zarathustra than doing anything strictly practical. Hence my decision to decline the sojourn to Jupiter/Saturn and the subsequent star-navel-gazing that would surely follow.

Note: if you aren’t a Science-Fiction nerd like me, the previous paragraphs likely make zero sense to you and you should probably just ignore them and read the following list after which you are welcome to mock my nerdery in the comments.

I’ve decided to limit my list to twelve items. This gives me exactly one month to accomplish each item. Completely doable. Next year maybe I can fit in the trip to Jupiter.

In a mildly particular order:

  1. Finish writing Fiddler’s Green and have it in readers’ hands by next Christmas
  2. Avoid going broke (yet again).
  3. Release three books from the Rabbit Room Press and ensure that they are not only filled with great writing but are beautiful to look at and hold in your hand.
  4. Own a bed (haven’t had one in 3 or 4 years.)
  5. Read more books than Andrew does (fair warning: this is a pipe dream).
  6. Get Sarah Clarkson’s book, Read for the Heart, into the hands of a whole bunch of people so they can learn what a great writer she is.
  7. Hear Fin Button’s name on NPR (Aim high, right?)
  8. Read more from the Bible than I do from the internet.
  9. Find a way to make 20,000 people buy the most under-listened-to album of last year, Eric Peters’s Chrome.
  10. Pay the bills by writing instead of by destroying my back and knees.
  11. Read an S.D. Smith novel.
  12. Open a physical Rabbit Room location to teach storytelling, sell books, and drink coffee.

Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he’s the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.


43 Comments

  1. JJ

    Consider this my pledge to pre-order Fiddler’s Green. I wish my pledge was worth actual United States currency.

  2. Ryan

    Dear Sir,
    As a fan of science fiction, I laughed heartily at your 2001 reference… on the inside. I have often wondered why those who reject the Christ often replace him with very silly, violent, or apathetic archetypes. I very much appreciate your pointing out this particular trend in sci-fi writing. And I am very glad to have discovered this website and hope to explore it thoroughly and check out many of the ‘suggestions’ on your to do list.

  3. Peter B

    Pete, I haven’t read 2010, but I got the gist of it (helps to be a SF/Fantasy nerd). You have not, however, motivated me to track down this book. Are you laying tile or something?

    JJ, you should aim higher (like Pete said); surely your pledge could be valuated by some standard that isn’t heading down the toilet. Nevertheless, I’ll be on that list (even considering that, to my shame, I still haven’t started TFG).

    So if the books’ title initials are the same, how do we differentiate between them in shorthand?

  4. Andrew Peterson

    @andrew

    Here’s my list. I’m purposefully leaving off personal goals (like curbing my 10 pm bowl of cereal and frequenting the YMCA). I’m keeping those between me and my love handles. I’m also leaving off any spiritual goals, because Eugene Peterson said those are silly. (More on that later.) This is my project list:

    1. Write six songs by January 18, the day the Captains and I start in earnest on a new album.
    2. Finish the new record by mid-February.
    3. Start The Monster in the Hollows (working title), book three of the Wingfeather Saga.
    4. Finish same.
    5. Start The Deeps of Throg (working title), book four in the Wingfeather Saga.
    6. Read every book on my shelves before I buy any new ones.
    7. Memorize some cowboy songs. Just because.
    8. Put together a Rabbit Room conference/retreat in Nashville this summer.
    9. Win the Friday night ping pong tournament at Lulu’s Café in Watertown, TN.
    10. Make a smoking pipe from scratch.
    11. Somehow buy a minivan in preparation for the Great Peterson Family Tour of America 2011.
    12. Hit the road with the Square Peg Alliance again.

  5. Ron Block

    @ronblock

    Pete,

    So you’re a nerdist. Be proud. Geeks rule the world if they don’t cave in to the desire to be cool and lose their nerdism.

    If you don’t write Fiddler’s Green by next Christmas I’ll come to your house with a blunderbuss loaded with nails.

  6. JJ

    Consider this my pledge to pre-order forthcoming Andrew Peterson album and Wingfeather Saga books 3 and 4. I wish my pledge was worth actual United States currency.

    So is this the first time we’re hearing the tentative titles? I love them!

  7. Duane

    Great and interesting lists Pete (and Andrew). Can really relate to #8 Pete, although I could stand to read the Bible more than the internet or watch sports. Looking forward to all the books and a Rabbit Room retreat sounds cool AP. As for science fiction, well, I’m probably less nerdy than you guys!

  8. Sarah

    Hey, wow! I’m honored to be on this list. Thanks, Pete!

    1, 3, and 12 sound especially exciting. Can’t wait for the Fiddler’s Green, and I have no doubt that The Rabbit Room cafe, once established, will become the Eagle & Child for modern day Inklings.

    And to be honest, I have NO idea what you were talking about in the first sci-fi bit, but being a Star Child sounds rather wondrous.

  9. Rob Dunbar

    Pete, I understand #10 quite well. I pray it happens for you.

    Andrew, just tonight my 11-year-old son wanted me to write to you and ask when the 3rd book will be published. So now it’s gonna be 4, and I think he’s going to burst before it’s all over.

  10. friend

    Ahh, I had thought that “saga” referred to the nature of the story rather than the number of books. I never heard of Mr. Peterson planning on more than three books. Now, in this case, I think there must be FIVE books! Who would end with an even number (and with the title, The Deeps of Throg!)? Mark my words, Rabbit Rumors…

    And back to the first list: Mazel tov, Pete. Aiming high indeed.

  11. Ron Block

    @ronblock

    My resolution for the new year is to never sin again. I’ve posted those Ten Commandments on my bedroom ceiling and this time I am going to try my hardest. I know I can do it if I just keep trying harder each time.

  12. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    Wow! These lists made me feel very excited for the goodness coming my way in the form of books and music! (does a physical Rabbit Room location mean I have to move to Nashville?)

    Now I must ponder my own list. And ask..how many books a year does Andrew read? (and confess if I read all the books on my shelves before buying another book I might never be able to buy another book. Hallelujah for the sony ereader soon to be mine)

  13. eugenia

    Being on the other side of the world, tomorrow will be the last day of 2009 for me and I CANNOT BELIEVE IT! Gosh. 2009, you were epic.

    Ahh number 8 *looks appropriately guilty*, and number 12 would be really exciting!

    So far my list goes something like

    1. Don’t make excuses for what I say. Mean it.
    2. Buy music directly from artists. Being on the other side of the world, shipping costs a TON, unfortunately, even and especially for just one album. …Hint hint? Haha.
    3. FLOSS.
    8. To me, 8 is impossible but try, try (:

    Yeah, something like that. I haven’t given it much thought since hefty resolutions are always broken. Hm.

  14. redhead.kate

    Thanks, y’all inspired me to write my own list “Task of Twelve for 2010”.

    Of course I am completely thrilled about the book goals. And you know that all of us will remind you two of your plans if you get off track.

    Pete – two words on the bed…Thrift Store.

    Andrew – maybe you should also learn a cowgirl song to go along with the cowboy ones. You could be a little more PC on that goal. And I do know someone selling a minivan.

  15. Cheryl, who got 3 bananas :)

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

    Please bring the 1st (of many) Rabbit Room Cafes to my town. Then redheadkate & I would have somewhere local to actually go for fun.*

    *Hoping you will feel really sad that our town has basically nothing for anybody to do.

  16. Leigh Mc

    Pete, yes for the books and the real (not virtual) RR! Andrew — yes for the books and music and the memorizing of cowboy songs! Ron B, HA! I’d paint my ceiling too, but after a day it would just depress me. I’m keeping my goals a cyber-secret, so that hopefully my failures to achieve them will be less widely known!

  17. E

    Pete and Andy, cool lists! I look forward to the blessing those things will bring.

    Ron – message received (and thank you again). It was subtle but effective.

  18. Ron Block

    @ronblock

    I was born again one day
    To follow You, Lord, on Your Way
    You have washed me in Your Blood;
    Now I work hard to be good.

    I try so hard to keep the rules
    To never covet gold or jewels,
    To put You first, no idols make,
    (In case I die before I wake).

    I close my eyes, I pinch my legs,
    I think of smelling rotten eggs,
    Or ‘member all my trig or math
    When gorgeous girls cross my path.

    I never fail to read the Psalms
    Or give a lowly bum an alm.
    I pay those tithes of all I get –
    I haven’t got a Lexus yet.

    Some days I’m angrier than, well,
    A sinner’s word that rhymes with “shell.”
    For all this not-sin that I do
    I never feel as good as You.

    But when I see You in the Word
    The things You do are so absurd!
    You eat with sinners, drink their wine,
    You talk to girls – all the time!

    You act like it’s just no big deal
    To be Yourself, to be so real.
    Others seem to love it, too –
    They can be themselves with You

    When You’re questioned how it’s done,
    Your words are riddles, every one.
    “My Father in Me does the deeds,”
    “Believe My Word,” “Abide in Me.”

    You don’t seem to understand.
    I have to keep those Ten Commands.
    If I don’t give my hardest try
    I’ll lose my Lexus in the sky.

  19. Marit

    #8 seems impossible. But I think I will try to pray more often for protection and guidance before I go doing something on the Internet.
    Seems like I have to plan a trip to the US sometime this year 🙂

  20. Tony Heringer

    Pete, I pray you are resolute in your resolutions but how does a guy who stanchly defended the Kindle say this: ” beautiful to look at and hold in your hand.”? 🙂

    “Open a physical Rabbit Room location to teach storytelling, sell books, and drink coffee. ” – there is a perfect spot for it in Suwanee, GA’s Town Center. Come on down and check it out. No matter where this happens, I hope it happens soon.

    God bless you brother, I pray your 2010 is a happy and prosperous one! That goes for all Rabbitheads and the founder of the feast – AP.

    Be God’s,

    Tony

  21. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    “how does a guy who stanchly defended the Kindle say this: ” beautiful to look at and hold in your hand.”? ”

    The same way I can watch The Lord of the Rings on TNT all weekend for free but I still prefer to own the deluxe extended edition boxed-sets.

  22. Tony Heringer

    I didn’t bite on the Kindle, but I’m with you on LOTR — at least in having the boxed sets. I ran the series one day just to listen to the commentaries while I worked. It was interesting to hear about the making of and other bits about the film (e.g. easter eggs).

    Ken Meyers, in a recent Mars Hill Audio journal, noted that Kindle is catching some flack. In particular he pointed to this article: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/08/03/090803fa_fact_baker He was interviewing a woman about reading and she noted the Kindle has issues with alignment of poems.

    Are you still happy with it? I’m such a slow adopter of technology like this because it just seems to be an in between step in the process. I figure its something that will be incorporated into mobile computing instead of it being a separate device.

    What say ye mon?

  23. Cheryl, who got 3 bananas :)

    OK, here’s the deal about Kindle. I would give up my computer before I’d give up my Kindle. That said, I downloaded the Wingfeather books to my Kindle and loved them so much that I promptly ordered the *real* books (Kindle vernacular: DTB or Dead Tree Books) from Rabbit Room just so I could hold them in my hands and *really* enjoy the covers/maps/illustrations/ etc. I knew I wouldn’t even bother to get the Kindle version of Fiddler’s Gun (if and when), but immediately pre-ordered the DTB…and will do the same for Green and the next Wingfeather books. So…though I would FIGHT you if you tried to take away my K2, there are a few books that will only satisfy when actually hand-held in original paper & ink format! The Rabbit Room store is where I’ll be looking for those books!

  24. Thomas McKenzie

    @thomas

    The Kindle is awesome. Just saying that to pile on, and to show how great my wife is who got me one for Christmas this year.

    I would like Pete’s dreams to come true.

    2010 is not a very good book, and it is a worse movie.

    I gladly offer my church’s building for the use of a Rabbit Room event. Any time.

  25. Tony Heringer

    Thanks Padre, this Aggie has had enough piling on. 🙂

    A Rabbit Room event would be a lot of fun. How about something around the time of the annual BTLOG concert in Nashville or a summer time event?

  26. These are NOT Resolutions…

    […] Okay, I know that none of these are extremely original, but this one I totally plagiarized from Pete Peterson of The Rabbit Room.  I hope he agrees with the whole imitation and flattery thing.  But I really […]

  27. Aaron Roughton

    Old 2010 goal list:

    1. Save money.
    2. Buy rocket car.
    3. Show off rocket car.

    New 2010 goal list:

    1. Save money.
    2. Buy new Peterson bros books and tickets to Rabbit Room event and rocket car.
    3. Show off rocket car at Rabbit Room event.

  28. Stacy Grubb

    I don’t have a Lexus, either. Yesssss. I’m starting the year off righteous.

    I resolve to never stand idly by again while my “friend” graffiti’s the overpass the next time Eric Peters comes to town (S.D., you and your misleading emails).

    I do resolve to read a book for the first time since I read Dolly’s autobiography 2-3 years ago (should I admit that here?) and I resolve that it will be The Fiddler’s Gun.

    I, Stacy Grubb, do hereby resolve to totally be there when a physical Rabbit Room is raised. If I resolve it, it will happen.

    I resolve to see the forest in spite of the trees this time. The rest will fall into place.

  29. Janna Barber

    Pete, Are the three books already lined up? Including TFGr? Can you tell us what the others are?Here, here to the physical RR.

    Andrew, No offense, but the working titles need some more work if they’re gonna measure up to the previous two. But finish the record first, I guess. And I’ll volunteer to promote the retreat to all my homeys here in K’ville, or whatever else I can volunteer for to help make that event happen.

  30. Aaron Roughton

    Old New 2010 Goal List:

    1. Save money.
    2. Buy new Peterson bros books and tickets to Rabbit Room event and rocket car.
    3. Show off rocket car at Rabbit Room event.

    New New 2010 Goal List:

    1. Save money.
    2. Buy new Peterson bros books and tickets to Rabbit Room event and rocket car.
    3. Buy new Rabbit Room t-shirt.
    4. Show off rocket car at Rabbit Room event while wearing Rabbit Room t-shirt.

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