1.) Finishing Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky and being stunned by her ability to juggle the number of characters in the storyline, while making them all compelling enough that the reader actually deeply cares about the fate of each one.
2.) Feeling equally stunned by the tragic story of her death and the circumstances surrounding the creation of this novel explained in the book cover as follows:
By the early 1940's, when Ukrainian-born Nemirovsky began working on what would become Suite Francaise--the first two parts of a planned five-part novel--she was already a highly successful writer living in Paris. But she was also a Jew, and in 1942 she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz: a month later she was dead at the age of thirty-nine. Two years earlier, living in a small village in central France--where she, her husband, and their two small daughters had fled in a vain attempt to elude the Nazis--she'd begun her novel...when she was arrested, she had completed two parts of the epic; her daughters took them into hiding. Sixty four years later, at long last, we can read Nemirovsky's literary masterpiece.
3.) Realizing my profound good fortune at the circumstances, time, and place into which I was born.
4.) Drinking amazing tall mugs of steaming chai from here.
5.) Reassuring myself that whatever the strange balmy weather may suggest about global warming and environmental issues, we have still had a change of seasons...as these photos from August to Now clearly show:
6.) Hearing that my amazingly talented daughter won first prize in her school literature competition for this poem, which will now head to the state finals.
7.) Seeing the warm response of readers to the CAC website she has worked so hard to create, and to the interview I did there last Tuesday with this talented artist (and the one I will have there tomorrow with a writer who inspires me with her kind and witty ways).
8.) Finally making headway on completing my sister's belated Christmas gift by knitting up a storm in any quiet moment I can steal away.
9.) Being thrilled and surprised to hear of two separate acceptances of my writing in forthcoming publications...and that I am steadily productive with my work now that my health is re-balancing a bit.
10.) Getting ready to walk out the door right now to spend a couple of hours at a cafe table with my inspired writing companion.