for the Love of Lists: Freewriting my Favorite Things

In my wanderings across the Internet on the many writing blogs I follow, I recently stumbled across Things We Like via Cheri Lucas Rowland’s blog. the site publishes contributions of–what do you know–things we like. Deciding that everyone needs a fun freewriting exercise now and then, I submitted my list, which the site published last week.

I subsequently noticed that on Rowland’s blog, she later expanded her list to a beautiful, care-free, open-the-floodgates exercise, and the English teacher in me melted. These exercises lend themselves well to honing the writing craft because they challenge us to sit back, drink in our surroundings, and capture them in solid, concrete terms. Never one to miss an opportunity to experiment with an exercise that might serve as a useful tool for teaching concrete language to my students, I thought I’d let loose the writing fairies and have a go at expanding my own list. I share the results here in the hope that they might serve you a little slice of joy and inspiration.

Things I Like

• Dancing barefoot in my kitchen to The Beach Boys’ “Kokomo”
• The way flecks of sunlight bouncing off the surface of the ocean look like dancing fairies
• Feeling like I’ve swallowed a drop of warm butterscotch every time I hear Colin Firth laugh

Image: Colin Firth
You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love your smile, Mr. Firth (photo credit Henny Garfunkel)

• When my dog wags his tail at passing squirrels
• French toast for dinner
• Opening the windows to the sunshine on Saturday mornings
• Sparkly eyeshadow
• The first pumpkin spice latte of fall
• Snoopy Halloween cards
• Falling helplessly, tragically in love with Frank Churchill every time I read Jane Austen’s Emma
• The way my nose twitches when I Walk past the Christmas tree tent in front of the grocery store during the holiday season
• The eggplant icon in the emoji keyboard on my phone; it’s so completely arbitrary, and I’ve been looking for the perfect conversational context in which I can legitimately use it
• The “Blue Soup” scene in “Bridget Jones’s Diary”
• The way matthew Rhys looks like Mr. Darcy even when he isn’t trying to look like Mr. Darcy. Exhibit A:
Image: Matthew Rhys
Brooding, Byronic hero is the new sexy. (photo credit ABC Corporation)

• The way the fresh cut rose fragrance from Yankee Candle turns my apartment into an English cottage
• Long text-message conversations with friends analyzing the precise shade of Jonny Lee Miller’s eyes
• Binge-rereading the Harry Potter series every summer
• Taking the first bite of those enormous chocolate peanut butter cups you can buy at Cracker Barrel
• Pretending I’m Bridget Jones every time I eat a chocolate croissant
• The perfectly blended margarita
• Feeling that all is right with the world when I have peanut butter in the pantry
• nicknaming ex-boyfriends after unlikable characters in nineteenth-century novels
• The satisfying crunch of pickles in my tuna sandwich
• The delicious decadence of waking up in a hotel room and lying in bed till noon
• The hum of lawnmowers on Saturday afternoons
• The sexy, sophisticated click of high-heels on hardwood floors
• Licking the foam off the top of my cappuccino
• The bird in the tree outside my window that always sounds like he’s laughing at a private joke
• Ordering extra butter on my popcorn at the movie theater
• Feverishly typing on my laptop in an airport lounge and pretending people fancy I’m an important journalist rushing to make deadline
• White bunny rabbits with pink noses
• Putting on a sweatshirt straight from the dryer
• Dresses that create an optical illusion that my breasts are bigger while simultaneously shrinking my waist
• Realizing that last summer’s swimsuit still fits
• Laughing so hard my stomach muscles hurt
• Obnoxiously correcting people’s grammar on Twitter
• The way the “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” theme song makes me think for 15 seconds that all of my problems are nonexistent
• Vanilla ice-cream melting into a warm brownie

2 thoughts on “for the Love of Lists: Freewriting my Favorite Things”

  1. This is a lovely list! And ooh, you’re watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt! I thought it was really cute. And the theme song incredibly catchy.

    Not as enthralling as the intricacies of JLM’s eyes, of course…

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