une histoire à dormir debout


I Heart Chairs (c) Kristin Espinasse
Today's word might as well be motley or hodgepodge or pastiche or...

la boussole (boo-sol) noun, feminine

  : compass  

synonym: la tête (head)
perdre la boussole = to lose one's head; to go haywire, bonkers 

Listen: Hear Jean-Marc pronounce the word "boussole": Download boussole.wav

Vivre sans but, c'est naviguer sans boussole. Living without an aim is like sailing without a compass. --John Ruskin

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A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

A French Floozie--make that a Language Tarte

Bonjour to any new readers who may just be tuning in. My name is Kristin and I am the ex desert rat who selects these thrice-weekly French words, words that have been described as everything from "obscure" to "absurd", but then—so is lifelife which forms the bucolic backdrop of these in theme with the "absurd" word stories. 

Because this site's "about" page is somewhat outdated (the first draft was written in 2002, three years after these letters began—via the Pony Express—which is as cool a synonym as I can find for "snail mail"), as I was saying, given that the blog's bio page is a little behind-the-times, it was hinted to me that it would be une bonne chose to update it from time to time.  Here, today, is one of those times....

That Magnetic Pull
In a nutshell or, as the French would say, bref, from Phoenix—and all the way to France—I followed that inner magnetic pull (you do know it, don't you?), that invisible claw that hooks the hearts of smart cookies and language tarts (me voilà, that's me, the latter).

Do not be misled, the fact that I love words does not make me the darling of higher ed. I'm hardly street smart. But I've an inner compass and can follow 'une carte' of the heart. So far it got me to France, and don't that make me a smart tarte?

Some are curious as to just what I do for a living (dare I say dream?) and yet... I never dreamed, as a kid perched among the leaves of a mesquite tree, the desert floor stretch out beneath me, no, I never imagined I'd be a writer, one who turns dreams into written things.


Additional info: I love bikes... or the idea of bikes. That's Jean-Marc and me, above...

... and I love to take pictures of bikes -- chairs too....

Voilà, or at Pat said recently, in the comments section, wa la! Which reminds me, I love to read your words and stories, so please don't hesitate to leave a message, here in the Coin Commentaires.

French Vocabulary

bonjour = hello

une bonne chose = a good thing

bref = briefly

me voilà = that's me

la tarte = pie

voilà = so there you have it


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More Gift Ideas....

France Magazine subscription

Easy French Reader: A fun and easy new way to quickly acquire or enhance basic reading skills

In film:  Paris Je T'aime Paris I love You.

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Smokey The Bandit... more photos coming soon.

Still reading? And I thought I was the only one who made it this far down in the newsletter... Good! So, do you want to see the previous about page update? Here's even more about this "thrice-weekly" letter and its characters... in this post from last summer.

A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
Thank you for reading this language journal. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on writing. My wish is to continue creating posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation of any amount.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
2. PayPal or credit card
3. A bank transfer, ZELLE is a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase our online memoir, The Lost Gardens