Don’t miss this episode of The Women’s Eye Podcast with our guest host and bestselling author Laura Munson in conversation with journalist Laura Carney, author of My Father’s List: How Living My Father’s Dreams Set Me Free. You met Munson when she chatted with Stacey Gualandi on TWE about her book Willa’s Grove and her top-ranked Haven Writing Retreats in Montana.
As Munson says, “Laura is the real deal. Wait ’til you hear her story about her dad’s list of fifty-four bucket adventures she completed in six years. They presented her with extraordinary physical and personal challenges.”
“It was more complex than just loving my dad. I had unfinished business with him in addition to wanting to honor him. It was a radical choice because I grew up sometimes questioning whether his choices were honoring me or my mother,” says Carney.
At 38 years old, Laura Carney discovered her dad Mick’s list—challenging her with everything from surfing in the Pacific Ocean to skydiving at least once. Killed in a car crash when she was twenty-five, her dad seemed lost to her forever. But she had questions about her own life that were unresolved after his death. Carney shares with Munson how this book helped tackle her resolve to find answers to family secrets and learn how to live a full life and trust again.
Carney’s journey was one of extreme adventure and self-discovery. She’d been published by the Washington Post, Associated Press, Good Housekeeping and other publications and worked as a copy editor for national magazines as she does now. Her dream, though, was to get in touch with her inner voice and find the full expression of herself.
“I was writing essays and when I was in some kind of conundrum, my dad normally would have helped me. I think I was seeking his guidance after he was dead and trying to heal things that I couldn’t heal with him face to face,” says Carney.
In this chat, the Lauras talk about:
- How the book profiles her dad even though it’s really her story, and the real inspiration behind it
- How she found the audacity to use her own voice and the insecurity she faced
- How she was scared of the scrutiny she would face being a woman in the public eye
- The adventure on the bucket list that is engraved in her heart
- Why the book is a love story
- Her surprise at how family and friends showed up and helped on her journey
- Why a bucket list is important
Carney was reminded of a Bob Dylan quote when she talked about why she felt her journey was necessary: “If you want to do anything creatively, you have to have room for imagination, observation and experiences.”
She took those words to heart. She imagined how she thought things would go. Then she would do it and observe what it was like, because what it was like was never quite what she thought it would be. After that she had the experiences she could write about. Think about what a bucket list could do for you.
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