What are 10 items on your bucket list?
- Make a feature-length film
I love taking a concept that started as a mere thought in my head, see it become alive on paper and then watch it morph into an almost-real living, breathing, entity on the silver screen. I wrote and directed a short film once and worked on several others and the whole process just amazes me.
- Tour the entire world
I can’t imagine spending my entire life on this planet having only seen a fraction of it. There is so much to see, so much to learn, so many different cultures to meet! One of my favorite shows is “Born to Explore” because they go everywhere and you get to see all these cool places and learn about all the different people. First stop, Italy!
- Meet Aerosmith
This may be because I’m from Boston but seriously they are still my favorite band of all time. In fact, if you take a close look at some of the chapter titles, you’ll see that I pay homage to them! I swear if someone ever made a movie about my life, Aerosmith would be the entire soundtrack. Their songs just always touch me, move me in ways that no other songs do. It might be Steven Tyler’s scream. I love that scream.
- Sing on stage at the Boston Garden
(Okay, people from Boston still call it this and it’s pronounced Gahden)
Oh how I love to sing! I’ve been singing my entire life and seriously started off early in my life devoted to the idea that I would be a rock star someday. In the meantime, I am a karaoke junkie and anyone who knows me, knows that my signature song is “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane. (Another title reference in the book is Chapter 2- Go Ask Alice.)
- Write a Broadway play
I’ve worked a lot in theatre! As a youth I loved being on stage but as I got older, I found that I loved writing the story more! I got involved with the 24 hour plays when I was living in Charleston, SC through Deuce Theatre and I fell in love. What a great concept. 24 hours to write it, cast it, direct it and put on the show (not all by the same person). It was beautiful. I also worked with teenagers on a great show called, “Power Play” at the South of Broadway Theatre in North Charleston, SC. The play was about teenage bullying and it really opened my eyes to what we could do with theatre. I want to write a play that addresses teen issues about bullying, suicide, body image, etc.
- Learn how to paint
I have to laugh when people call me an “artist”. Yes I can sing, dance, act and write but I cannot draw a straight line with a ruler and my six year old can paint better than me. I just never had the talent. I’m in awe of those who do. I mean I can paint your living room no problem, but something to hang on the wall? Fat chance! I grew up watching Captain Bob the painter and part of me wishes I had paid just a little more attention!
- Learn another language
I know a little Spanish and a little sign language. But I want to be proficient in them. I guess that’s why I put my daughter in Spanish Immersion at her school so that she could grow up bi-lingual. I think it’s so important and it helps break down communication barriers between cultures.
- Have a large pesticide-free vegetable garden
When I was a kid, my parents had a garden that stretched across our entire backyard. My father grew up in Vermont so he definitely had a green thumb and I remember working in the garden as a kid. We NEVER bought vegetables or fruits at the store. If we needed something we just picked it and if we had too much, we sold it or gave it away. I’m afraid to buy vegetables at the store these days with all the controversy about pesticides and such. Right now I rent but when I buy a home, I’m putting in my own garden!
- Make my own album
I guess before I sing on stage, I should have something to sing, right? I’ve always written songs, I was just never good at writing the music to go with it. I’ve tried to work with musicians to put something together in the past but always seemed to end up finding either people that were lazy and uncommitted, or they didn’t think a woman could write songs as well as a man so mine were never focused on. I tried to learn how to play guitar but had a hard time on account of the fact that I’m left-handed. So, I guess when fate steps in with a committed musician, I will finally make that album and maybe someday open up for Aerosmith at The Boston Garden! That takes care of a few things on my bucket list!
- Change the way women are viewed on this Earth by men and by themselves
Views on women need to change. We are the mothers of the Earth and our strength, love, devotion and compassion are the glue that keeps humanity moving forward. We should be supported more for our talents and seen as equal. That includes equal pay, equal job opportunities and equal voices. There needs to be more women writers taken seriously and the marketing and advertising about women needs to reflect more on our knowledge and strength and less on our bodies.
Lagos has written poetry, stage plays, screenplays and short stories for over 20 years. In addition to writing the Beyond Earth Series she also has twelve award-winning short stories published in the Giant Tales anthology. “Beyond Earth” is Book one of the series. “Beyond Planets” and “Beyond Time” will be coming out later this summer. Lagos currently resides in Massachusetts with her husband and their daughter.
Title: Beyond Earth
Author: Arlene Lagos
Published: June 24th, 2013
Word Count: 45, 700
Genre: YA Sci-fi Fantasy
Hidden in the fabric of our own galaxy are five planets, anchored to Earth and thriving with life. When young Adaminia walks through a doorway and onto another planet, she learns the truth about her destiny. She must locate the other six warriors and unite their shared power in order to fight off the growing darkness set to destroy their existence.
Day two at my first job ever and I already have a hit list of co-workers I want to torture. My aunt convinced me to take a summer internship at a marketing firm outside of Boston. It was less about convincing and more of an ultimatum if you ask me. I immediately regret agreeing to this insanity. I’d much rather be at the beach right now.
Blindly I thumb through the new employee manual while some really loud German guy a few cubicles down from me makes telesales calls. He says the same thing to everyone, “Oh what a beautiful name you have”. If I hear it one more time I might have to invest in duct tape.
I never understood the appeal of working in a cubicle. It’s very sad when I walk down the hallway and have to count the rows so I know which row is mine because there are no distinguishing markers. At least these ones have sliding glass doors so nobody will notice me listening to Aerosmith on my iPod instead of actually doing my job.
It’s eleven in the morning and I’ve already gone to the bathroom twice, eaten my mid-morning snack and am secretly hoping someone will pull the fire alarm, when all of a sudden I hear a sound rattling in the hallway.
It’s getting louder and louder and now drowns out even the loud, wacky German dude. At one point I stand up because the sound is so alarming that I am passed curious and moving closer to concern. Nobody else seems to be bothered by it, which intrigues me. Way-too-tall guy is on a dating website; annoying girl is trying to fix the copier; and I’m pretty sure my irritating boss is asleep. I sit back down. Perhaps the noise is nothing, since it doesn’t seem to alarm anyone else.
There it is again, the same sound. It’s five times louder than before and the vibration of it causes my phone to fall off the receiver. I couldn’t have imagined it. I stand up quickly this time sure that others have noticed. Nobody seems to care. Am I going crazy? I have to find out where it’s coming from.
Sneaking out of my cube and down the first stairwell, I walk towards the vibrating sound. This old brick building is massive, with endless winding hallways, elevators, secret halls and hidden floors with adjoining catwalks that lead to four other buildings. I was lost for over two hours yesterday trying to climb my way back from lunch, but at this point I hope I get lost again. I need to know what that sound is, if only to ensure that I am not hearing things or going crazy.
The sound is likened to that of a wounded animal mixed with a throbbing pulse that penetrates my eardrums as I claw my way closer.
All this excitement after days of torturous boredom has my heart beating fast. I feel like I’ve been walking forever and am definitely lost at this point. For a split second I wonder if perhaps this is a good idea? I could get into a lot of trouble if they don’t find me at my desk. It’s only my second day; I should try to start to find my way back.
Still, the sound is pulling at me. I can’t walk away from it. It’s as if it is calling to me, specifically. Besides, this is the most excitement I’ve had in weeks I can’t give up now. I must know what that sound is and why it seems to not be bothering the dozens of people that have passed me in my pursuit of it. I succumb to the temptation and start running towards it. I round a corner, then another, and come to a maroon door with a golden handle at the end of the hallway. No windows, no other hallway, just a door. I try to open it, but it’s locked.
Frustrated, I jiggle the handle one more time, then give up and turn around only to find a floating glass plate passing from left to right in front of me, with a silver key smack dab in the middle of it. Am I dreaming?
The plate continues to float in front of me so I grab the key, put it in the lock and open the door. The key instantly vanishes from my hand in a puff of smoke. I look around to see if anyone else is witnessing this anomaly but I am the only one in earshot. I rub my eyes and blink a few times. Is this part of some new employee initiation? Did someone spike the water cooler? The sound continues to throb in my head eventually drawing me into the tiny room.
Inside the room is a small tree planted right into the floor. Hanging off one of the branches is a black crystal, the source of the sound that had drawn me here. The surrounding walls are black and as I turn in a circle to examine my surroundings, I realize that the door that was once behind me has disappeared and where it was is now just another black wall. I rub my eyes again to make sure I am seeing clearly. Where am I? Where did the door disappear too? How did they plant a tree in the floor? Where does the water go? How do I get out of here? Claustrophobia kicks in and I lean against one of the walls to keep myself from falling down.
Looking closer at the black crystal, I examine its beautiful edges and shiny surface. Plucking it off the tree, I feel smoothness of it as I roll it inside my palm, when suddenly both my hands suction cup to the door causing me to drop the crystal, and my feet start to float up behind me as if someone just changed the gravitational field. A loud thunderous bang echoes on the other side of the wall I am stuck too and instantly it breaks off from the remaining walls sucking me up into a wind tunnel.