Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Joy Dare for 2012

My favorite book of 2011 was Ann Voskamp's profoundly-moving and inspiring One Thousand Gifts. The crux of the book encompasses the writing down of one thousand blessings from God, something Anne still works on, adding to her list (which has now passed three thousand) each Monday. I started my journey to One Thousand Gifts in December of 2009 and reached 680 gifts before being so crazy-busy this past fall that I haven't been able to get back to it.

But Ann has laid down a challenge for 2012: 1000 gifts before the end of the year: The Joy Dare. And she's helping us by posting monthly lists of Joy Dare prompts for jotting down three gifts each day.

I sat down yesterday and caught up for January 1-30 while the boys did their work quietly, and today I added the three gifts for the final day of the month.

Here's the January Dare List, and now the one for February (scroll down through the articles to the end for the lists).

So here are a few selections of my first 93 entries of the Joy Dare to One Thousand Gifts:

1. joy in the written word
5. January firelight
9. Teddy calling my writing "Hemingway-ish"
14. blueberries in winter
19. silent nights of writing in fire-warmed home
21. winter-bared trees silhouetted against rosy sunsets
22. my great-grandmother's wedding ring on my hand
27. lines on paper to guide my words
30. Pippin apples from our own tree
33. first daffodils of spring
38. Airsoft ammo pinging off front window
39. music of wind through branches of towering pines
43. cardigan sweaters
50. Kitty's gift of candle and verse--"seeing through a glass darkly"
56. sunshine warming my wintry bones
59. early bud of apple blossoms
62. forty prepositions as taught my Mr. Stan in 8th grade
64. my mother's smile
65. words unfurling from my mind onto computer screen
71. spring skies cloudless
72. ocean gleaming in afternoon sun
83. Kitty's exhortations
85. "All Because of You" (U2)
90. prayer book well-worn by constant use
So by the close of 2012, I hope to have garnered 1000 Gifts through the Joy Dare, plus add the 680 I started gathering from December 2009. So keep me accountable as I seek the giving of thanks and the attitude of gratitude that results from counting the gifts.

Basking in the blessings,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Brother...and Quotation of the Week

My apologies for my neglect of posting regularly to this blog. I have been so very busy, caught up in teaching the Groovy Grammar Workshop at Brave Writer, plus the Medieval History and Intermediate High School Writing courses at Class Day, homeschooling the boys, writing my little stories, and expanding my online grading/editing business at SusanneBarrett.com. In fact, I've been so consumed with the former activities that I've had to turn away larger projects (book-length editing) for my grading/editing business.

As I prepare for teaching two retreat workshops at the Pine Valley Christian Conference Center for their annual Women's Retreats, I find myself returning to the wisdom of an old friend, Brother Lawrence. I'll be presenting workshops on journaling and on blogging on two consecutive weekends in early March.

I was first introduced to Brother Lawrence through the online community I took part in for many years; his little book, The Practice of the Presence of God, enthralled me from the first page. His devotion to contemplative prayer is inspiring, and I hope to be very much like this simple brother, a dishwasher and gardener of the 17th century, as I "grow up" in our faith.

So for this week's Quotation of the Week, I've chosen a short selection from The Practice of the Presence of God (which is available as a free classic for Kindle e-readers; I just downloaded it for my own Kindle Library at Practice of the Presence of God on Kindle).

So here's my selection...although I have to admit that it's extremely difficult to choose only one quotation from such a wonderfully quotable little book:

"There is no manner of life in the world more sweet or more delicious than continual conversation with God."

--Brother Lawrence (1611-1691), The Practice of the Presence of God

So as I begin to prepare my workshop on journaling for Women's Retreat, I plan to make several points regarding Brother Lawrence, especially how his example of "praying without ceasing" as Saint Paul commands us to do, can be lived out practically through the discipline and joy of journaling.

Practicing God's Presence with you,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Poetry in Honor of MLK Jr. Day

As we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the poem slipped into my inbox by Poets.org bubbled forth memories of my favorite Harlem Renaissance artists and poets.

When I studied 20th Century American History at Point Loma Nazarene University, I selected the Harlem Renaissance as my research paper topic. The Harlem Renaissance helped to birth jazz and "the blues" as well as visual and written arts. The prolific African-American musicians, artists, and especially the poets at the heart of this movement in the 1920s piqued my interest, especially the poet Langston Hughes, one of my Top Five Favorite Poets.

So, starting with the poem that arrived in my inbox, here are some "poems for thought" on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I shall allow the poets to speak for themselves--since they are and always will be far more eloquent than I could ever aspire....

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals—
I know what the caged bird feels!

I know why the caged bird beats its wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting—
I know why he beats his wing!

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings—
I know why the caged bird sings!

by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

We Real Cool
by Gwendolyn Brooks


We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

The Negro Speaks of Rivers
by Langston Hughes

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

May all our souls grow "deep like the rivers" as we remember and celebrate the men and women of talent who have brought Depth and Truth and Vibrancy to our national soul. Whatever our color, creed, or politics, we can unite in the Truth-Telling revealed through the arts, and especially through the medium of the written word...which can unmask worlds in a mere phrase....

If only we but see...hear...touch...feel...ponder...love.

Wishing you all a blessed remembrance this day,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Dearth of Poetry

It's been a long time since I've composed poetry.

You see, I've been bitten by the fiction bug. Until late 2008 when I first challenged myself to the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I hadn't written fiction since my creative writing professor, Dean Nelson, forced us to write short stories as a class assignment...more about Dean and his amazing writing conference here in Pine Valley later this week.

So my first experience with fiction since Dean's class in 1987 occurred when I "won" NaNoWriMo in November of 2008 with the first half of a very autobiographical novel...which I then completed during NaNoWriMo 2009. It's very, very rough and would need a great deal of work to get into proper shape for sharing...much less publication.

Then I discovered another mode of fiction writing in November 2010 and I've been writing weekly chapters ever since. It's become a lovely mode of escape for me. When stacks of essays to be graded loom over me, jotting a fantastical chapter of 3000 words relaxes me and keeps me from requesting a permanent placement in the nearest insane asylum.

Okay, it's not that bad.

It only feels like it at times.

But a rather sad side effect of the blossoming of fiction writing has been the dearth of poetry writing. Twice I've joined daily poetry challenges for a month, in April 2009 and in November 2010, and while much of the poetry written was utter crap, a couple gems-in-the-rough sidled in, looking for a home...or at least a good polishing.

But since starting the weekly fiction chapters in late 2010, I've written three poems, two of them crap.

I rather miss the ebb and flow of poetry, the thought processes required, the depth of insight and actual seeing.

Fiction writing is easier. Freer. It's like running--almost thoughtless at times, and one can get really far, really fast.

Poetry writing is more like a waltz, or even a minuet. One has to know what one is doing; one has to know the rules. It's complex, and encircling truth. Footwork is required, and technique, and grace; one must hold the head at just such an angle, etc. Much is depth is required; it must be worked and reworked and re-reworked much differently than writing fiction.

Not that fiction is easy to write. It's not. But it's a marathon versus a minuet. You have to be in it for the long haul. And as we run, the important thing is to...keep running. It's long but not as intense; it's deep, but not as deep. There's a technique, but nothing compared to a ballroom dance.

What I've found is that, for me at this particular point in my life, I can't run an marathon and dance a minuet at the same time. No, it's one or the other, but not both simultaneously.

Part of the reason for such single-mindedness is the lack of time I have for recreational writing of any sort. Perhaps when the teetering essays are graded and the poetry and Shakespeare classes are taught and the kids are homeschooled...perhaps then I'll be able to train for both the marathon and the minuet.

But not now.

No, not right now.

Perhaps later.

After all, this thought by one of my favorite poets gives me hope...hope in writing fiction as well as poetry:

"Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood."
--T.S. Eliot

I've found Eliot's maxim to be quite true. Especially in Eliot's own poetry, for example, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." I still am not sure I understand more than half of one of my favorite poems. But I enjoy it thoroughly every time I peruse it.

Wishing you a poetic week,

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Death Comes to Pemberley...

Early in December I was excited to discover a new book was being published by my favorite British mystery author, PD James. Approaching her 92nd birthday this year, PD James is the Queen of the modern British murder mystery. Her main character, Adam Dagliesh, is both brilliant detective and deep poet; he is ever fascinating, as is every mystery she writes.

She writes to no formula; with great psychological insight and the usual British distance between characters, each story in the series is intriguing and revelatory.

But with PD James' advancing age, I live in fear that each mystery she writes will be her final book. So it was with great joy that I saw the listing on Amazon for her new title, Death Comes to Pemberley.

Then my Austen radar beeped to full-alert status. Pemberley, as Austen fans (or at least fans of Colin Firth's amazing Mr. Darcy) know well, is the name of Mr. Darcy's estate in Pride and Prejudice. Could this title be an inside joke of some sort? How was Dagliesh going to be involved with the world of Austen?

As soon as I learned of the new title by PD James, I rushed to our county library website and reserved a copy for myself. I've been slowly building my PD James library with 50-cent copies from library sales, but I knew that purchasing a copy of this new title was well out of my price range. I was thrilled to discover that I was ranked #3 with seven copies available; thus I would get a copy as soon as the library received it.

Death Comes to Pemberley arrived four days before Christmas, and Tawny, one of our librarian, laughed at my joy of receiving such an early Christmas gift. I practically danced home from the library, rather startling my kids when I waltzed through the front door. They didn't understand my excitement, but then, they rarely do.

And then I discovered the actual subject matter of the book; this was no Adam Dagliesh mystery; much as I adore my poet-detective, I was thrilled to read from the inside cover that Death Comes to Pemberley was set six years after Elizabeth Bennet's marriage to Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Yes, it's quite true: the famous PD James wrote a Pride and Prejudice fan fiction mystery.

Now I don't feel so shy about my own writings in the fan fiction genre. (But not enough to reveal my fan fiction pen name, thankyouverymuch!)

So the irrepressible Wickham is accused of murder in the woods surrounding Pemberley, and it's up to Elizabeth, Darcy, and Colonel Fitzwilliam to clear his iffy name and save his life from the gallows.

I finished it last night, and I thoroughly enjoyed the trip back to the Regency Age and Pemberley. Even if one is not a fan of murder mysteries, the Austen-ishness of the book makes reading Death Comes to Pemberley well-worth one's time.

Next to read (as I await being able to check out a Kindle version of Stephen King's Under the Dome from our library system) is Julie and Julia which I also picked up from the library sale for 50 cents....

Happily reading,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Quotation of the Week...and Epiphany

On Friday, the Anglican Church, along with other liturgical churches, celebrated Epiphany.

The Epiphany, January 6th, marks the close of the Christmas Season with Twelfth Night (the Twelfth Day of Christmas) on January 5th. Epiphany, then, is a kind of extension of the Christmas season as we remember the events of Matthew 2 in which "wise men from the east" come to Judea, looking for the "infant King of the Jews." Herod asks his advisers about the Messiah, and they tell him that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem:

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
--Matthew 2:1-12, ESV

The Baptism of Jesus is celebrated a week later, on the Octave (8th day) of Epiphanytide, the day in which Christ was manifested as the Son of God, as related in Matthew 3:

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest upon him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
--Matthew 3:13-17, ESV

Our Collect for Epiphanytide from the Book of Common Prayer 2011, to be prayed throughout the Octave of the Epiphany:

O GOD, by the leading of a star you revealed your only eternal Son to the peoples of the earth; In your mercy grant that we, who know you now by faith, may after this life behold your glory and power face to face; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

And the Collect for the First Sunday After the Epiphany, also from the Book of Common Prayer 2011:

LORD God, in your mercy we ask you to receive the prayers of your people who call upon you; Grant that we may perceive and know what things we ought to do, and give us the grace and the power to faithfully perform them; Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and rules with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Over two years ago, I jotted a quotation into my Quotation Journal, a quote by a fellow blogger and pilgrim on the pathway to God, that I've always wanted to share on Epiphany, but it kept slipping my mind (an easy thing to do these days). So here it is for you and for me to ponder:

"Keeping the pace while finding wise silences, discernment is knowing where the bright star leads--and then maintaining the trail. But like the Magi, the idea is not to dare to encamp under the compass point, but to be lit further by the Source."
--from "The Speculator" on his blog La Vie Graphite, 9 December 2009

So as we enter Epiphanytide, the time in which Jesus was made manifest not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles--basically, the fact that He came to save everyone, no matter what sex, race, religion, creed--we welcome Him into our hearts with joy and gratitude, "for this is the day which the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it."

Rejoicing with you this day,

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ring in the New Year!

As we ring in the New Year of 2012, I thought this lovely poem which floated quietly in my e-mail inbox, courtesy of Poets.org, just after we popped champagne following a long and brutal game of Scrabble: Booklovers Edition (thank you, Godmommy Vera!), was perfect for expressing the New Year's cliche of "out with the old, in with the new." After all, Tennyson wasn't one for cliches, thank goodness!

So as we return soon from the rush and exhaustion and joy and pain that make up the Holy Days, I thought we could especially pray the final stanza which will be posted in the sidebar as the Quotation of the Week:

From In Memoriam by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
So as we ring out all that was evil, injurious, sad, wrong, unjust, grievous, and sinful in 2011, may we welcome all that is brave, true, right, courageous, beautiful, holy, lovely, sacred, and godly in 2012!!

From the Book of Common Prayer 2011, page 61:
For Guidance
O GOD, by you the humble are guided in doing right; Your light illumines the darkness for those who trust in you; In our doubts and uncertainties, give us grace to ask what you would have us do, so that the Spirit of Wisdom may save us from all false choices; In your light may we see light, and in your straight path may we not stumble; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Sources: Psalm 26.9; 36.9; John 1.5; Jeremiah 17.7)
May God grant us all a healthy and blessed New Year of 2012 as we strive to follow the example of Christ our Lord as we live, serve, and love in His ways.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! And a Happy Ninth Day of Christmastide as well!!

Praying to follow the Light, this year and always,

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Books and Movies of 2011

2011 was quite a year for books and movies. Each year far down in my sidebar I keep a list of books read and movies watched. So as I rewatch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 with our kids on this New Years Day, I'm also copying my lists of books read and movies watched.

I read 88 books in 2011, most of them fan fiction; I've bolded the non-fan fiction titles. Here's the list, in reverse order:

88. Letters to You (fan fic) (2011)
87. Do Over (fan fic) (2011)
86. Carlie's Eyes (fan fic) (2010)
85. Pressed for Time (fan fic) (2011)
84. The Private Patient -- PD James (2008)
83. The Woman in Black -- Hill (1983)
82. That Girl (fan fic) (2010)
81. Death at Devil's Bridge -- Paige (1998)
80. Sacrificial Lamb (fan fic) (2010)
79. The Decoy (fan fic) (2011)
78. Puddle Jumping (fan fic) (2011)
77. Crimson and Clover (fan fic) (2011)
76. Pros and Cons (fan fic) (2011)
75. I Thee Wed (fan fic) (2011)
74. I'll Tell You What's Up (fan fic) (2011)
73. Solace (fan fic) (2011)
72. Songbird (fan fic) (2010)
71. Turn the Page (fan fic) (2010)
70. Such Great Heights (fan fic) (2010)
69. I'll Follow You into the Dark (fan fic) (2009)
68. Everlong (fan fic) (2009)
67. Glitch (fan fic) (2010)
66. Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor -- Barron (1996)
65. The Tutor (fan fic) (2010)
64. Blood Lines (fan fic) (2009)
63. Distractions (fan fic) (2010)
62. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies -- Austen and Grahame-Smith (2009)
61. Stranger Than Fiction (fan fic) (2011)
60. Falling Beyond Redemption (fan fic) (2011)
59. Treason at Lisson Grove -- Perry (2011)
58. Under the Full Moon (fan fic) (2009)
57. Murder on Sisters' Row -- Thompson (2011)
56. One Thousand Gifts -- Voskamp (2010)
55. The Nightingale Journals (fan fic) (2011)
54. Desiderata (fan fic) (2009)
53. Buckingham Palace Gardens -- Perry (2008)
52. Murder on Lexington Avenue -- Thompson (2010)
51. It's a Sign (fan fic) (2011)
50. Southampton Row -- Perry (2002)
49. Duty and Desire: A Pride & Prejudice fan fic (2010)
48. Continuity (fan fic) (2011)
47. Art After 5 (fan fic) (2010)
46. We Come to Life Beneath the Stars (fan fic) (2011)
45. Legendary (fan fic) (2010)
44. And With Thee Fade Away (fan fic) (2010)
43. Forever Was Never 'Til Now (fan fic) (2010)
42. Rhapsody in B (fan fic) (2010)
41. In Transit (fan fic) (2010)
40. Intersection (fan fic) (2011)
39. The Best I Ever Had (fan fic) (2011)
38. Moonless Night (fan fic) (2009)
37. Coming to Terms (fan fic) (2008)
36. Eternal Equinox (fan fic) (2011)
35. Long Spoon Lane -- Perry (2005)
34. Seven Dials -- Perry (2003)
33. Ithaca Is Gorges (fan fic) (2010)
32. Beyond Time (fan fic) (2011)
31. The Screamers (fan fic) (2010)
30. The Wisdom Seeker (fan fic) (2011)
29. The Secret Keeper (fan fic) (2008)
28. Whitechapel Conspiracy -- Perry (2001)
27. Alphabet Weekends (fan fic) (2010)
26. In Another Life (fan fic) (2009)
25. The Courtyard (fan fic) (2010)
24. Don't Take the Girl (fan fic) (2011)
23. Macbeth -- Shakespeare (1604)
22. A Cold White Christmas (fan fic) (2008)
21. High Anxiety (fan fic) (2011)
20. Blind (fan fic) (2008)
19. The Ex Factor (fan fic) (2011)
18. World Without Sound (fan fic) (2009)
17. Edward's Eclipse (fan fic) (2011)
16. The Discovery of Bella Swan (fan fic) (2008)
15. Midnight Sun -- Meyer (2008) and Midnight Sun Continued (fan fic) (2009)
14. The Trip Home (fan fic) (2009)
13. While You Were Gone (fan fic) (2009)
12. The Healing Codes --Loyd (2011)
11. Dark Side of the Moon (fan fic) (2009)
10. Half Moon Street -- Perry (2000)
9. The Search for Myself (fan fic) (2009)
8. Worth Existing (fan fic) (2009)
7. Miss My Lion (fan fic) (2010)
6. Bedford Square -- Perry (1999)
5. Wide Awake (fan fic) (2009)
4. Only Human -- Jackson (fan fic) (2010)
3. Brunswick Gardens -- Perry (1998)
2. Blue Moon over Manka's (fan fic) (2010)
1. The Ties That Bind (fan fic) (2010)

And here are the movies watched in 2011; ones watched in the theatre are noted:

Holiday (1938)
Twister (1996)
Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011) -- in theatre
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)
The Bishop's Wife (1947)
Remember Me (2010)
Mr. Blanchard Builds His Dream House (1948)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Rebecca (1940)
To Catch a Thief (1954)
Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) -- in theatre
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone (2001)
I Was a Male War Bride (1949)
Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
Shall We Dance (1937)
Super 8 (2011) -- in theatre
War of the Worlds (2005)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Water for Elephants (2011) -- in theatre
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt 1 (2010)
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Jane Eyre (2011) -- in theatre
Twilight (2008)
The Haunted Airman (2006)
The Bishop's Wife (1947)
Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)
Suspicion (1941)
The King's Speech (2010) -- in theatre
Gone with the Wind (1939)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Pretty Woman (1990)
The Holiday (2006)
The Ghost Writer (2010)

So there they are: my book and film lists for 2011. Now I'll start keeping track anew for 2012, starting with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Happy New Year!!!

With love,


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