Some people have a "bucket list" of things they want to do/accomplish within their lifetimes, and of course, I have a mental one of those as well. Some of the items on it include getting published, traveling the world, speaking at writing conferences.
But I have a second list, and this one features famous people who've influenced me in some way. I want to meet/interact with these people, even if it's only for a brief time, like a greeting or a handshake, because these people shaped my worldview, gave me pleasure through their entertainment or writing, unconsciously contributed to characters I've created. And I want to thank them.
I created the list back in college. A few names fell off as they passed away or their public personae changed into people I no longer admired. Many got checked off as I met them.
I've always had this uncanny knack for running into or arranging to run into famous people. Starting at age fourteen when I ended up in a restaurant one table away from Michael Jackson, I've bumped into an unusually large number of famous people.
The best is when they turn out to be just as nice as you always imagined they would be. The worst is when they are egotistical, rude, or have hit such heights that they don't even have time to acknowledge their fans.
Anyway, the reason I'm writing this now is that I've only got about four people left on my list (though more will likely be added as time passes). Recently, I got to rub elbows with Sir Patrick Stewart, and I am pleased to announce that he was kind and gracious.
Others who met my expectations or went beyond them include Lucy Lawless, Renee O'Connor, George Takei, Armin Shimerman, Tim Russ, Mark Hamill, Davy Jones, Tanya Huff, Elizabeth Moon, Linnea Sinclair, Ann Aguirre, and several more writers and performers.
I won't list those who treated their fans poorly.
So, four to go. Anyone know where I might run into Sam Neill, Harrison Ford, Anne McCaffrey, or Dick Van Dyke? :-)