Last week, we were busy counting our blessings. This week, I've made a list of some favorite things--and hope to nudge you into listing your own.
1. Performance of Maria Bello in Prime Suspect She's so tightly wound, she'll take out a city street if she snaps, but she's a dogged detective. Bello happens to resemble Older Daughter, so I like her and worry she's skipping meals. Let's hope NBC doesn't cancel the show.
2. The Soldier's Wife, Margaret LeRoy This book, set on the island of Guernsey during the German Occupation, challenged my preconceptions. At its end, I asked myself which character had lost the most. The answer surprised me.
3. Gavin & Stacy The secondary characters steal every scene in this British rom/com series. (See publicity picture at top, left.) Seasons one and two are available at Netflix, via streaming and DVD, plus episodes are up on YouTube and other sites. Tidy.
4. Cool weather Hubs and I walked together Sunday morning. He layered up. For the first time this fall, I did NOT say, "Hot! It's so hot." He checked the temp: 48 degrees. My definition of perfect.
5. Men who name stray cats When I went out of town earlier this month, Hubs reluctantly agreed to feed the stray cat I've named Lucky along with Lucky's occasional sidekick, a black and white tabby. When I returned, Hubs mentioned "Checkers." I was baffled. "What's that?" Hubs shrugged. "Lucky's friend."
6. Until There Was You, Kristan Higgins I bought this book as an airplane read, figuring it would be light-hearted and funny. It was all that and packed a sneaky emotional wallop. I wiped away tears at the end, which is embarrassing and makes flight attendants uncomfortable. It may be my favorite of Higgins' books, and she's an auto-buy for me.
7. Daughters who come to dinner and stay for six hours Hubs and I don't qualify as witty conversationalists and we're too creaky to do snark effectively, but now that the kids are launched, they don't hate hanging with us. I credit dessert, the never-fail lure.
8. Fotofest International Discoveries III Through December 22, twelve photographers from eight countries are exhibiting at Fotofest's headquarters at 1113 Vine Street, Houston, Texas 77002 (A shade north and east of the University of Houston/Downtown's main building.) The show wowed me, it's free, and the gallery space, in a renovated warehouse, is stunning. For details and a peek at some of the photos on exhibit, go here.
9. Rain Houston's November rainfall edged into the above-average category. Hooray! Although we're roughly twenty inches below normal for the year, the grass is green again, and birds don't have to drink from saucers under potted plants.
10. WANA 1011 Kristen Lamb's sixty-day online course on blogging and mastering social media is nearing an end, and I've learned a lot. More importantly, I've "met" and come to appreciate the work of dozens of writers who are balancing fiction and non-fiction writing, families, day jobs, and blogs. If you're a writer reluctant to wade into social media waters, read We Are Not Alone, the Writer's Guide to Social Media. Learn more here.
Your turn: Name one of your favorite things and tell me why it's special. (I'm not asking out of pure nosiness; I want to expand my list by trying out the things you like.)