Sunday, December 13, 2015

A List: After Susan Sontag

I have been reading Maria Popova's wonderful collection of quotations from writers on writing. You can find it at Brain Pickings. I have read most of these writers, and also several of the books on writing that she quotes from. This morning, I was reading some of Popova's nuggets on list-making as a writing starter activity, and I came across an excerpt from Susan Sontag's As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 (a book that I haven't yet read) - her list of "things I like" and "things I don't like." It has inspired me to create my own similar list.

Things I Like:

Coffee, pine trees, our cat Oliver, lady bugs, snow, cheese blintzes, 100 recipe chicken cookbook, red wine, baby clothes, towels, marble, reflections on water, pebbles, mountains, paint, garden soil, new ice, dancing, watermelon, pens, pads of paper, Thai food, fields, hoar frost, yellow, the pattern tree branches make against the sky, pancakes, lists, the letter o, collections of objects, the Gulf Islands, purple violets, The Passing Cloud, K.D. Lang's cover of Hallelujah, cheese, Margaret Atwood, black tea, wood grain, leaves in autumn, butterscotch, words, terriers, rayon fabric, Tsimshian and Haida art, my family, brie. 

Things I Don'Like:

Sewing, green pepper, volley ball, intravenous needles, gore in movies, post-modern art, bullying, perfume, Stephen Harper's Canada, makeup, suicide, maggots, cigarettes, public toilets, undercooked chicken, hospitals, caraway seed, medical procedures on eyeballs, rose hip tea, vomit, foam pillows, nylon, being called a lady or a girl, scotch, frostbite, firearms, gold coloured cars, wire worms, amputations, wet socks, cluttered counters, anime art, haggis, torn medial meniscus, television, grey or beige shirts, litter, dried oolichan, gum recession, hairspray, the smell of diesel, going to work Monday morning, greasy hair, dog poop revealed by melting snow in the spring.

Things I Like:

Good writing of any genre, October, British Columbia, raspberry jam, Rob, cherry blossoms, walking, chocolate cake, magnolia trees, my friends, the Group of Seven, grandchildren, long hair, food columns, jazz singers, alpine areas, pear trees, log houses, pottery, art blogs, blues music, backcountry skiing, kisses, margins, finishing a project, ideas, quilts, swimming in lakes, the camper, language, wild flowers, kayaks, research, cycling, wilderness trails, fly fishing, beets, turquoise, folk art, the angle of the light, beads, view from an airplane window, a wood fire, Haida Gwaii, trees, Mom's shortbread.

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