qui réchauffe le coeur (kee-ray-showf-leuh-ker)
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
The Original "Editorial Sweethearts"
This story is dedicated to William C. Myers, or "Behind the Scenes Bill", who undertook the colossal task, some years ago, of editing—post publication—my "thrice-weekly" missives!, this, after I had worn out the previous volunteers (Hello Chris! Hi George!), "Les frères Christian," who I fear are still recuperating from the trauma. These three men taught me more than how to un-split my infinitives, they showed me that what I write counts, and that, no matter how grammar (grammatically?)-challenged I may be, my stories are worth sharing.
I admit, je suis crévee! It feels as though I've been steamrollered over. My body craves a hot bath and my stiff neck—and all the muscles below it—are crying for a bottle of aspirin.
It is a marathon over here, in "lackadaisical" Provence, where a typical day in "The 21 Day Book Publishing Challenge" begins around six in the morning and finishes when I receive an ALL CAPS e-mail from my Book Director (my concerned mother), who suggests, "Why don't you call it a day?" I honor Mom's wish by turning off the computer in time to eat dinner.
Last night, while tossing the last pat of butter (supplies are dwindling...) into the frying pan, I became entranced by the melting beurre, which began to take on a new form. Could it be?... I wondered, as the butter settled into its new bubbly shape....
Yes! It was a heart! What's more, it was the second heart apparition of the day!
Earlier, that morning, while struggling to find an opening quote—the kind you see preceding a book's first chapter—I had had a similar encounter of the heart. This happened when I could not call to mind a meaningful citation, at which point I decided to take a shot at writing one myself....
My plan was to relate a snippet of conversation that I had recently had with a brokenhearted friend. Imagine my surprise when I looked down at the transcript of our talk... and saw that the text (which I had center-aligned) formed a well-defined heart! Now, I ask, what were the mathematical chances of that?
I am not sure why I have chosen to relate the above story for today's post—when I had set out to talk about the technical (and not the mystical!) side of publishing: specifically typesetting, including issues with text fonts (Garamond? or Georgia? or Times New Roman?), text size (10 pt? or 11pt? or dare I go higher?), and file-conversion errors, among other riveting topics!
So I hope you are not too disappointed with today's non-techie, non-literary subject matter. I am going with the moment and, I admit, hoping for another close encounter of the heart.
* * *
And now, for those of you who are helping me to edit the essays that will go into my next book, here are today's stories selections. Please help me edit them, sending any corrections to the comments box of the post in question!
P.S. Here's a special heart for Betty Gleason, who came up with the title of the book: Blossoming in Provence
Meantime, moving forward... while trying not to look back! It is time to begin putting the edited stories into manuscript form...
...an extremely nerve-racking task,
all it takes to throw off the typesetting
is a little errant dash!
(photo taken in Suave, Italy, where my Chief Grape attended a wine fair, two years ago)? Speaking of The Chief, here is a message from him:
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"Bonjour, Kristin, I have enjoyed your blog now for a great number of years, watching your children grow up, your moves from house to house, enjoying your stories and photos and your development as a writer. It's way past time for me to say MERCI with a donation to your blog...which I've done today. Bien amicalement!"--Gabrielle