Another Kind of List

“The hope of the Magpie List is that you’ll find it interesting and fun, controversial and influential, a stimulating resource and starting point for your own continuing education.” –The Magpie Story, about section of The Magpie List website.

Putting The Magpie List online has been a learning experience, and it has been interesting to discover and remedy the differences between a face-to-face project and a “world wide” (web) project.  One of the differences I’ve encountered is readers’ understanding and interpretation of the premise: to collect inspiration.

I was feeling, as a busy single-parent, that I never had the time to explore the aspects of culture that I love but considered a luxury; books, music, and movies.  I want to continue my education through these facets, and I was– and still am– looking to the people around me for the curriculum.

As lists pour in, I find that readers want to define “inspiration” in their own terms, often expanding beyond the restrictions of  “Books. Music. Film.”  Blogs, magazines, food, art, people, theater, events, radio, television– there is so much to explore! I love the idea that, through this forum, a stranger could open someone else’s eyes to something they may have never otherwise discovered. That was the original idea… to offer inspiration that is both pure and easily accessible.

But there is also another kind of list.

These lists come from a different place of inspiration, one of a more personal nature.  With personal perspective, they are clearly developed around specific experiences. Focusing  on family members, forces of nature, nostalgia, memory smells, everyday or meditative routines, traveling, even specific recipes and restaurants, these lists are unique to each author.  I can’t help but wonder about the events that inspired them.

As TML community grows, I find less time to edit and organize the lists that don’t fall within the Magpie definition of “inspiration.”  But they are fantastic lists with some wonderful suggestions.   So, I want to occasionally give credit, here in the blog, to those who are proving that, indeed, everyone does has a treasure to share!

Another Kind of List:

  1. Wireless internet
  2. Electric toothbrush
  3. Chapstick
  1. Morning coffee
  2. Donuts
  3. Stanley kubrick
  4. Children
  5. Lasagna- homemade
  6. Eating out
  7. Christmas
  8. A big fire
  9. Beer with friends
  10. My sister
  • Shannon, Paramedic, Brandon MS
  1. Grace under pressure- emergency response teams and military branches
  2. Good Music – The beatles, Areosmith, Dr.Dre, Dirty Dancing Soundtrack, Norah Jones, Eve, No Doubt
  3. Sinfully good food – Korean bbq, garlic bread, hot wings, red lobsters bisquits, pasta (ok maybe just carbs in general)
  4. Chocolate – homemade fudge, cookies or candy that are so good they demand thier own line.
  5. Good books- (I perfer series) Dark Hunter by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dresdon by Jim Butcher, Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz, anything by Jane Austin; Harry Potter and yes, Twilight.
  6. Good Movies- Dirty Dancing, Boondock Saints, Hackers, Lonesome Dove, Becoming Jane, and Blind Side.
  7. Loving family
  8. Friends
  9. Soft blankets
  10. My two children and husband who re-teach me balance every day after I seem to forget with every dream. They show me unconditional love and compassion and inspire me to do the same. Without them I am lost.
  • Stefanie Garret, Writer in Progress, Ramona CA
  1. The beach in the early morning when the only footprints are yours
  2. The wind blowing through the tall grass making it look like water
  3. The patterns in feathers which make them look like they were painted
  4. A book whose words become more true the longer you live
  5. The people in your life who never cease to amaze you with their kindness
  6. The unconditional love of a pet
  7. Friends who make you smile when you think of them
  8. Movies you can quote practically every line of
  9. Memories that remind you of just how blessed you have been
  10. The unexpected detours in your life that have led you to a better place
  1. Prague, Czech Republic
  2. Istanbul, Turkey
  3. Sarajevo, Bosnia
  4. Bern, Switzerland
  5. Reykjavik, Iceland
  6. Dublin, Ireland
  7. Paris, France
  8. Zagreb, Croatia
  9. Munich, Germany
  10. Vienna, Austria
  • Mariah G, Student, Switzerland
  1. Pyramids built in Africa and South America around the same time.
  2. Kindnesses in the midst of chaos.
  3. Thomas Kenneally, William Trevor, Barbara Kingsolver.
  4. Dancing to ”Get Rhythm” by Ry Cooder.
  5. Michael Connelly, Ruth Rendell, Ian Frazier.
  6. Grandchildren!
  7. A good animal connection, fleeting or a pet’s life.
  8. Accomplishing something I put off because I thought I wouldn’t do it well, and having it turn out pretty darn great!
  9. Fond memories that remind me I can make more.
  10. Alexander McCall Smith, Pogo, P.G. Wodehouse.
  • Ellen Reid, San Francisco CA
  1. chocolate fondant, chloe’s french cafe, santa rosa
  2. cherry ”pop tart”, della fattoria, petaluma
  3. sticky bun, downtown bakery, healdsburg
  4. almond-y chocolates, woodhouse chocolate, st helena
  5. chocolate marzipan scone, wild flour bakery, freestone
  6. ooh la la red velvet cupcake, sift, santa rosa/ cotati/ napa
  7. fruit truffles, see’s candies, everywhere
  8. mini pastries, emporio rulli, larkspur
  9. mazarin tarts, village bakery, santa rosa/ sebastopol
  10. chocolate eclairs, cavaliere’s bakery, santa rosa
  1. Roasted sweet potatoes, red potatoes, beets, and onions, buttered quinoa on the side
  2. White chicken chili with green chiles, jalapeno, pinto beans, and white beans
  3. Yellow curry sauce from Trader Joe’s with sauteed chicken, sliced carrots, and onion
  4. Andouille sausage sauteed with pre-steamed brussels sprouts and bacon
  5. Lasagna layered with mozz/parm/ricotta, spicy Italian sausage, and arugula
  6. Butterflied whole chicken rubbed with chopped garlic and rosemary, roasted on a bed of #1
  7. Couscous cooked with dried chanterelle mushrooms: add sauteed red onion, chard, pine nuts, and maybe Bacon Salt.
  8. Tacos verde: chopped tomatillos, pasilla, jalapeno, and green chiles, deli rotisserie chicken, onion, garlic, cumin, and a little cinnamon/nutmeg – in a tortilla with cheese
  • Kjersti Egerdahl, Editor, Seattle WA

Note: I love these lists!! In going back through the site, I believe that TML’s parameters need to be a bit clearer. In the meantime, if any of the above list-authors want to send me  new or edited lists, I will gladly post them in the main list page!   Thanks to everyone for becoming a part of the Magpie Community!

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