avoir des oursins dans les poches


Leaves of Grass (c) Kristin Espinasse
Looking out towards Cairanne, a nearby village


aube (ohb) noun, feminine

    : dawn, daybreak

Le jour vient après l'aube.
Day follows dawn.

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

If you were sitting here with me now, facing this blank screen, you might be tempted to do as I am doing... and let your eyes travel over to the porte-fenêtre, beyond which blackness reigns.

This is no dark metaphor. I am only looking out at the night sky, staring at the twinkle lights (are they coming from the village of Gigondas? or Sablet?) beneath the sliver of a half-moon, high in the ciel above. When I began to fill this blank page, that moon was at "noon", hanging directly over the lighted village....

The moon is now at "one o'clock"... and now "two o'clock" and I am still wavering, from this page to the window and beyond. Above the village twinkle lights, a jagged horizontal line has just come into view: I recognize part of a mountain range: Les Dentelles de Montmirail.

A light gray hue rises from the mountain as the sky above awakens in shades of blue... in muted teal, in whispers of royal, in cobalt and bird's egg hues...

Above, the moon is wandering away.... It is after all a new day.


Book Publishing Update!

For three weeks now, I have been working towards this "new day": Publication Day. As it turns out, my book, Blossoming in Provence, will not be available for purchase by midnight tonight... (so much for the bad news).

The good news is that in 21 days a book has been created! For this, I am so thankful for your support, including all the helpful edits and all the encouraging cheers that you have sent in. This book could not have come together without you!

I will be taking the next week or so off to complete this project...
...and to ease up on some of the pressure! Meantime, I wanted to share with you the final étapes or stages in this book-making process, for those of you who might like to make a book of your own.

=> Now that my stories are in manuscript form, I will be sending the Word document to a book designer-typesetter (I have chosen TLC graphics for help with my book's interior. I had thought I could do it myself... but when I began to wrestle with formatting the text and the pages, I gave up!)

=> Erin, the designer-typesetter will reformat the book. Bruce has agreed to do a final read-over, and I will be doing the same.

=> I will then upload the cover and the interior via CreateSpace—the self-publisher that I have chosen for this project. It will take CreateSpace another 5-7 days to approve the manuscript (i.e. confirm it is free of any technical glitches—I forgot to tell you about the photo-sizing fiasco I am going through at the moment...)

=> I am required to order a proof copy of the book (this will take another two or three days, express delivery to France!)

=> Once I approve the proof copy, it will take Amazon up to 48 hours to upload the product page and make the book available for sale (!!!).

The bottom line: If all goes well the paperback book will be available in a few weeks! 

For those of you who are celebrating, Happy Thanksgiving, and for everyone reading, happy rest of the month of November! I will check in with you when things are looking a little clearer around here. Meantime, wish me bonne continuation. I'm wishing you the same!




Le Coin Commentaires

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French Vocabulary

la porte-fenêtre = French window
bonne continuation
= keep on truckin' (also means "all the best" or "keep up the good work!"

amicalement = best wishes 


Local birds. How I'd love to fly away with them right about now... but there are more ends to tie up with this project! Quelle idée de faire un livre dans vingt-en-un jours! What a idea to do a book in 21-days!  


A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Eileen deCamp

Morning Kristin,
I am so happy for you and your project! I can't wait to see a copy!
I know you have already picked your "blurb" but I had another "blurb" just for you.

American writer Kristin Espinasse has built a beautiful life in Provence with her winemaker husband and two children. Her French Word A Day blog has many enthusiastic followers who are transported weekly into a life that in part seems fairytale but also very relatable. Her heartwarming stories coupled with her gorgeous photos of the french countryside and it's people definitely give true meaning to the saying, "Bloom where you are planted."
Have a wonderful day!

Lisa @ Tarte du Jour

I cannot wait to read your book! It will be a fabulous Christmas gift for the francophile. Best wishes for a smashing success!!

Madelyn E

Bon Chance Kristin ! I will look forward to the final product . I know it will. E a treasure . My 11 year old niece Helayne is taking French ( instead of Spanish ) so I will get her a copy too .
Bon Thanksgiving to you !

Bruce T. Paddock

Hey, Kristin -

Just a(nother) suggestion, but I think you should take two or three days and not think about the book at all. Enjoy your family (both the two- and four-legged members), the beauty of nature, everyday life in the village, etc. Read a novel. Watch a movie. You get the idea.

This will allow your batteries to recharge so you can return to the project with a clear head. And trust me, your subconscious mind will still be working things out without you even realizing it.

Besides, you've earned a few days off.


Paula Sullivan

Don't know if you celebrate Thanksgiving while in France but anyway Happy Thanksgiving and best of luck with the new book-something to be thankful for for all of us who enjoy reading your books.

Pat, Roanoke, Va

Bonne continuation, chere Kristin. Quite a formidable undertaking, this! Having been away for awhile, i have missed out on much, but I am certain the GIGANTIC!, and we are talking really, really big here, love and appreciation that we followers hold for you will help you through these last days of publication. I look forward to ordering it. And Bruce's suggestion to take a breather is tres wise--hope you can do it. Big hugs, Dear One.

jan Greene

Now time for you to relax a bit even as the last parts are completed! Rest and take the advice of your friends here. Take good care of you and at this Thanksgiving season, we are all thankful for you!


Kristin -- I hope the book will be available electronically as well. I read books on my iPad these days -- so much more convenient.

Jules Greer

Kristi Darling - I am so proud of you...I for one will always be able to recall exactly what I was doing the month of November 2011...thank you for bringing me along with you on this wondrous voyage. I now think you have taught me enough to follow your example through the process of writing a book - and today's post tied up all of the loose ends.

Now that you have trained me to rise and shine at 5:30 a.m. each morning for the past three weeks I am ready for my own challenge, although I think I will spend maybe 6 months on my project.

This past month has been pure joy for me...watching you spread your wings and fly again after your surgery has shown me once again that you truly are BLOOMING IN PROVENCE.

I love you my little Angel.



Kristin Espinasse

Thank you for these lovely and loving words. Just the balm needed at this point! 

Jim, I will make it a goal, once this is published in paperback, to look into electronic publishing. I noticed CreateSpace has a Kindle option.

Kay Cotner

Happy Thanksgiving..........we can all find a day to give thanks, n'est pas?
And congratulations for undertaking such a daunting will undoubtedly be charming and wonderfully presented.
Best of luck gittin-er-dun!
Amicalement, Kay

Periods go inside quotation marks-- not outside. Inside is American; outside is British convention. MLA is the reference on this. I notice you do this all the time.
Good luck!


Kristin, c'est formidable!!!
Thanks for sharing not only this book-writing process with us but also the 'thrice weekly' vignettes and the superb photos which accompany them. I've been signed up (silently, till recently), for quite some time and it's always so nice to see your mails pop up amongst the plethora of bumph/requests/things to deal with etc.
Looking forward to getting your book, when it's out - I think it might make an inspirational pressie for a friend of mine who has been writing and re-writing her own book for over 2 years (with no job and no kids to distract her...). You are a shining example of how to 'just do it!'.

Kathleen Freeman

Amicalement from the Heart of Ohio, it is the season to be grateful. By graciousness we will be known, and you demonstrate that. Regards to your mother, I have been blessed by what we all have been learning. The French lessons are an extra cherry on top of the sundae. My home raised heritage turkeys show the signs of the season, beautifully colored for autumn. I appreciate the hues of your photo towards Cairanne. Enjoy a respite to enjoy your season.


Your other readers have said it all but thanks for sharing your journey and blossomingd.

anne wirth

Good Luck with your book. If people knew what we know they would snap up your book. I can't wait to get it from Amazon. This will be a Christmas present to myself and to a few of my good friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Peace and Blessings, Anne

Crystal Cannon

Bonne chance et bon courage!!!! Tu m'as inspiré!!!

Betty Gleason

Dear Kristi,
Thank you for taking us all on this exciting, creative, educational endeavor. It certainly has enriched my life as I gradually got immersed in this project. It has been especially delightful working with your mother, Jules. I give thanks for this internet family. Hugs to all


I know this is not about your subject today, but I am concerned about your next possible basal cell. I used to work for a plastic surgeon and he specialized in removing them. Please, please consult one before your next surgery! they leave the least noticeable scar, there will always be a scar but they are trained for this purpose. We saw many patients who came to him for a revision from other surgeons not trained as well. You have a beautiful face to match your personality and I want you to continue enjoying both. Sorry, if I am intruding. I care about surgical outcomes!!

Robin Katsaros

I am simply thankful for Y-O-U !!!

Much love and thanksgiving, Robin

Julie S. from San Diego

Bonne continuation, Kristin! You did it, ça y est!! What is left to do, are just the finishing touches. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and try to take a few days off and relax with them. I agree with Robin, I am thankful for you too!


Everyone is justifiably excited about the book and commenting on it, but I don't want us to forget l'aube. I love the early morning light in Provence. And you may have noticed at the DRB wine tastings how I always sit at the end of the table looking out towards the Dentelles and Gigondas and Sablet. I am grateful to know, through your words, what it looks like in the early morning with the moon above.

The next time I visit, I will bring copies of your books, including the new one, for you to sign for me.


p.s. remember you have a velo-rail story to use sometime when you want a break

Christine Webb-Curtis


After having done the deed myself at CreateSpace, I recall that the publisher turns things around much more quickly than they predict. I believe they responded to each submittal (I had to make several changes to the lay-out of the cover.)within about 12 hours--not the length of time they predict in order to cover themselves. The Kindle version, in my opinion, is very different to upload, but not all that difficult. That doesn't mean it's worth your own personal time (though my yankee roots wouldn't let me give it over to someone else to do--that is pay to do). If you've found someone to do it for you, I say all the better for you.

I'm looking forward to it and wish you a lovely break. You deserve it.


Debra Saturday

Take a lovely break and enjoy your days. :)

So proud of you and all involved. A great journey shared. I look forward to the published book. Yay!

Happy thanksgiving and Namaste!


Cynthia Lewis

Bonne did it! Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow and best wishes for your days off to be worrying about spellings and endless corrections of commas and clauses. Whew...made my head spin, but I enjoyed reading all of it.

edith schmidt


Vous est tres diligente!
Am looking forward to your book. Now I hope you can relax a bit.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, tho' I know the French don't celebrate it.

Edie from Savannah

Judy Feldman

Felicitations Kristin! You are amazing! I can't wait to read your new book, and get some copies for members of my French group. Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family.
Bises, Judy

Margy Mullins

Bonjour Kristin,
I can feel your contented exhaustion,
your long window gaze and your stunned
"oh, this is what publishing is all about" awe.
Experience has taught me that stepping back is good, regardless of the reasons. Your life, your book and your health will be the better for it.
How wonderful sharing this writing adventure
with you and readers around the world.
Happy Thanksgiving...Harvest Blessings and Peace to All.
Margy Mullins, Pittsburgh, PA


Hi Kristin, A million congratulations!! And you made it in time for Thanksgiving--truly a day of celebration!! Now, how about a day of rest with your feet up!! See you next week. Mary

Ellen Aragon

Congratulations, Kristin! Wonderful to hear that you are down to just tying up loose ends on the book. In the midst of all of that, I appreciate your providing us with the small vignette of the dawn. It has been too long since I "pulled an all-nighter" and enjoyed the private feeling of satisfaction that you describe of having the world all to yourself at that moment - and with the satisfaction of a writing project well done! "L'Aube" has always been one of my favorite French words. "Crepescule" by contrast, does not do twilight justice. ;-)
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, both near and far!

J. Coute

So excited about your new book. Congratulations to you! Something that struck me though, is that you're putting all pictures in black & white. One of the most delicious aspects of the pictures that you take, is the vibrant colors. Please rethink this (or is it too late?). With photographs and a book such as yours, I would prefer color pictures, & certainly wouldn't mind paying a bit more for it.

alicia brown

Bonjour--Bonne chance avec le livre! I look forward to your new arrival!!! I am already homesick for Cairanne, Sablet, Gigondas, etc. which we visited recently. Glorious!

Glenn from St. Paul

Looking forward to the finished book. Good job. I may have missed it, but will it ship from the States as well as France?


Congratulations to you! It's been wonderful reading through your adventures in giving birth to this book. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

Paul Heffron

Hi Kristin,

So how do you want us to order the book - through Amazon, as you've been implying? Does Amazon have exclusive rights to sell your book?

Anyway, congrats on finishing on time. Is this an example of 'cloud publishing'?

Best regards, Paul



I just finished a book with createspace - I love their service and final product. Our book, "How To Cook Bouillabaisse in 37 Easy Steps" clocks in a 308 pages with 49 French recipes.

Book-writing is hard work! I look forward to reading you newest book.

Ginny Reich

Kristin, you are amazing. I'm looking forward to owning a copy of your new book. However, I'm writing now to thank you for sharing your story about your basal cell cancer. Thanks to your pictures and comments, I sent my husband to the dermatologist. He had a bump on his forehead similar to yours. It turned out to be cancerous, and he just had it taken care of yesterday. Who knows how long he would have ignored it if you hadn't shown your picture and talked about your experience. Many thanks and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Lynn Tilson

Bonjour Kristin,

I am new to your site as I too have been finishing a book. It is not yet in the hands of a publisher but after 3 years at work I am taking a break before that step. The book is called, Caterpillars Never Die, written for my daughter by my father in 1976. I thought you would like to know that the French poet Robert Desnos is in the book (I put him there - not my father). Since you have children you may be interested in Robert's book Chantefables et Chantefleurs. Poems he wrote for children.

Am waiting for your book - I know the work you put into it!

Jennifer in OR

YOU DID IT!!! You are an incredible inspiration to us all! PLEASE take a much needed and deserved Thanksgiving break. ;-) Can't wait to see the final copy!

Christine Dashper

Fantastic achievement Kristin. Bon chance for the completion, what an effort!

all the best


Bonne continuation, Kristin! Keep up the wonderful writing!

Carolyn Chase

Congratulations and Happy Thanksgiving.


Kristi...what an amazing journey you have been on! SO much learning! You should be proud of what you have achieved in ONLY three weeks and I suspect this book is only the start! I will have two of your books on my shelf shortly and I suspect I had better start clearing more space around them ;-)!

Bill Facker

Tick toc .. tick toc .. creative muse or hard, cold clock.

Hour hands freeze, gears do rust .. eventually clock turns to dust.

Light from within rules all time .. clock is dead .. Muse reigns sublime ...

Congratulations Kristin!

Jan in Colorado

Congratulations, Kristin and contributors to the book effort! Amazing what can be done when one is committed to it. I don't know if you've transplanted the Thanksgiving celebration to France, Kristin, but I'll wish you a Happy Thanksgiving anyway. Many years ago, when I was living and working in France, I read an article by Art Buchwald in the International Herald Trib that I thought was just hysterical. I was able to find it in several places on the Internet, but this site is the most accurate:
You may have to cut and paste the URL. I hope you get a chuckle out of it. Happy Jour de Merci Donnant!


As others have said, you are an inspiration. Your posts brighten my every day, and your writing is a joy. Congratulations on your achievement. Happy Thanksgiving! One of the things that I am thankful for is your writing and your posts, and your sharing with us all.

Ann M.Tubbs

le photo--c'est très beau, ça

Jan Leishman

Bonne continuation Kristen !
What a remarkable achievement. It is something we will remember forever - being part of a book's production. Thank you for sharing it with us and involving us. I hope our presence has lightened your load.
Now for a break - away from the book for a bit?
I look forward to the finished work.
Happy Thanksgiving - although we don't celebrate it in Australia - I think it is so appropriate for 2011.
Your achievement is such an inspiration.

Betty Bailey

Congratulations, Kristin! You are amazing and so clever!

Sarah LaBelle

Congratulations! You made a wise plan from having the completed book. I hope it is a good experience working with Create Space.

It is a wonderful way you have to take your mind off your worries by creating a book from when your children were younger. Now you have teens, live on a farm for grapes & wine-making. Surely life is very different for you now. Really a perfect time to write this.

Like so many others, I wish your photos would be in color. You have an eye for the well composed photo. Perhaps they will look grand in black and white, but I have seen them in color only. For that matter, in color on my lit computer screen, which adds its own effect to a photograph. But you will make the right choice in the end.

Thanks for the look into the process of making a book from daily essays. It has been great fun for me, who has only to read and react, while you do all the real work.

Judi Miller

You are so amazing! You have inspired me beyond belief! Tonight I actually cleaned out my office which has been overflowing with books, ETC, for too long (recycling). I think I'll make a little 'shrine' where I can place your book! I can hardly wait to buy it!

I am keeping a book I forgot I even had,"Legacy, A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Personal History" and I am now finally going to read it. You've inspired me. Maybe I will actually start writing! Thank you! And, of course, "felicitations" on your amazing accomplishment!

I'll be very ready to read your next blog as each one brightens my day so much - but, ONLY after you have rested for a while and then gotten back to finishing off all the millions of tasks necessary to put this puppy to bed! Be good to yourself!

Olga Brown

The most important thing you did is putting a lot of people from all over the world together to work as a team on that project. It's just amazing! Some people who never met before got to know each other by communicating through the comments corner. You've brought such a joy in people's lives!
Thank you!

Your friend Olga.


Although it is still Wednesday here, I am late in the day getting to read your post. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am thankful for you, Kristin, and for all of the FWAD friends that have been instructing me in French for the last year or more. This week I received an e-mail written entirely in French. I understood it so that I knew I didn't want to participate in what it offered. I think it's the only Spam mail that I have ever enjoyed reading. Thank you, everyone!

Diane W. Young

Just "let go and let God". His timing is never wrong. We're all pulling for you and give thanks for you.


Félicitations, Kristin!! I am thrilled that your book has been created.

Bonne continuation for the last stage in this wonderful journey of publishing a book!
And merci beaucoup for sharing all your learnings with us.

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you again for such warm and wonderful encouragement. On this day of thanksgiving, I am especially grateful for the community here. This may be a comments box, but it feels like a favorite café filled with the warmth of caring friends. Every word is an encouragement.

Rina Rao.

Congratulations and Happy Thanksgiving, Kristin.
As already said by so many, you've done a marvellouus job!!
Do take a very well deservrd short break, specially as you have still a lot of work to do.

Bill Facker


Kristin et Jean-Marc ... I'm watching for that one Turkey .. the one that got away. I just know I'll see a wild eyed fowl peeking out from a bush .. wondering if it's safe to strut again. And, when I find that feathered friend, I'm going to put out some perfect grains and a small cup of Mistral, sit in my favorite lawn chair with a glass of my own, and enjoy the company of that magnificent bird ... 'cause nothin' goes better with Turkey than Domaine Rouge-Bleu.


The piece on "aube" was beautiful poetry. I had the most vivid peaceful picture in my mind.

Julie F in St. Louis, MO

Bonne continuation! But I agree. You could use a break to recharge your batteries and health. Perhaps you could buy yourself a little extra time by lining up some guest bloggers while you tend to hearth and home for a short while.

Francis d.

Kristin, Congratulations, your hard work will be worth it. As someone who has self-published in the past, I know how hard it is to stay focussed and on top of all the details. And I didn't have your schedule!! Having had the softback option available for some time now, I have recently chosen to also release on Kindle, and found it a remarkably straightforward process. I have a website that covers all the available sales options for my book and when you have the details of your publication, I would be happy to add your links... as I'm sure, many other of your subscribers with web profiles would do. Best of luck in the future with this

Ken Scupp, Bow NH

J'ai vu Jean-Marc, la nouvelle vedette, sur Yabla hier soir. Bonne idee! Il aiderait la mercatique. C'est tres difficle a trover ses vins en Etats-Unis. Bon courage.

Priscilla Fleming Vayda

Congratulations, Kristin! Almost there!

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