The YA author's latest book follows a young protagonist who vows to complete her late mother's senior-year bucket list. Here, Lippincott shares a photo diary of her own IRL attempt at it (along with her wife Alyson Derrick).
Rachael Lippincott, The Lucky List
Credit: Alyson Derrick; Simon and Schuster

The List

We set out to complete eight of the 12 bucket list items found in The Lucky List. After this past year of being stuck inside, we had a blast going on all of these adventures, both big and small.

Plus, it was a great excuse to get a new tattoo!


#1 Get a Tattoo

We drove 16 hours round trip from Pittsburgh to NYC to get matching tattoos of our wedding date in roman numerals. Alyson’s motto quickly became: “We can sleep when we’re dead!” Huge thanks to Jason Lu at Atelier Eva!


#2 Go on a Picnic

When a semi-nice day appears on the Pittsburgh weather forecast, you’ve got to make the most of it! With no rain, and only a slight chill to the air, I surprised Alyson with a picnic in our backyard. She was told upon arrival to change out of her favorite pair of quarantine sweatpants into something a little nicer.

Flowers? Optional. Vegan donuts? A necessity.


#3 Try a New Food

Here, Alyson proudly displays the dragon fruit she spent more time carefully cubing than actually eating. We also tried roasted beets with balsamic and feta. Both were delicious, both tasted pretty earth-y, and both will be finding their way back onto our plates in the near future. Huge thanks to Rachael’s IG followers for the two good suggestions!


#4 Get Out of Town

Remember that 16-hour road trip I mentioned? Yeah. New York City. We stayed for less time than we drove, but we’d do it all over again for an everything bagel with cream cheese.


#5 Sleep Under the Stars

It turns out I am extreme-back-pain-after-sleeping-in-the-back-of-a-pickup-truck-years old. Nothing like a night sleeping underneath some rural Pennsylvania stars. Or…most of the night. At daybreak we grabbed our dew-covered pillows and made a break for a real bed indoors.


#6 Find a Four Leaf Clover

Felt ESPECIALLY lucky on this day, because not only did we find a four-leaf clover, but we got our second vaccine dose! Hooray for modern medicine! It took Rachael about 15-minutes of scavenging in our backyard to find one, and it wilted the second after this photo was taken.


#7 Get Over My Fear of Heights

With the highs (haha, get it?), come some lows. I took one look at the aerial adventure course we’d shown up to do and decided I didn’t want to do it. Could I have struggled through two hours of misery? Possibly. Did I want to? Absolutely not. I’d done this in varying forms throughout my life: rollercoasters, 20m high dives, cliff jumps...I guess the fear I conquered was being unable to set boundaries and letting myself be forced into things I didn’t want to do. It felt like a real win to know myself enough to not go through with it.

Anyway! Here’s an adorable picture of Alyson up in the trees with her mom.


#8 Buy a Book in Another Language

This exact book is referenced IN The Lucky List. 1954. L’Ete by Albert Camus. It was super cool to be able to find the actual book online, in French, and to be able to have the exact worn pages the main character reads, sitting right in front of me.


#10 The List Complete

What an adventure we had. Two new tattoos. A week’s worth of back pain. Listening to Olivia Rodrigo’s new album by a lake after wimping out of a treetop adventure course. It was an excellent jumpstart to our summer, and the perfect way to celebrate the release of The Lucky List.