bonne lecture

qui rechauffe le coeur

Is it really possible to publish a book in 21 days? I'm taking heart that it is. Meantime, a certain heart is taking me.... Read today's story.

qui réchauffe le coeur (kee-ray-showf-leuh-ker)

    : heartwarming

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

Sécheresse: My eco-friendly neighbor's creative solution to the drought... Click here to read this story.

Pétillant: Waiting for my important guests, I fail to notice the special visitors who are right beneath my nose... read the story here.

Paresse: That perfect façade we sometimes try to create, read more here.

French Christmas CD 

 You'll love this French Christmas CD, click here!


  "Velo"city (c) Kristin Espinasse

Meantime, moving forward... while trying not to look back! It is time to begin putting the edited stories into manuscript form... 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:


For the upcoming Holidays, our organic, award-winning Rouge-Bleu wines will regale your palates. Click here for store locations (or email Chief grape if you can't locate them).
And, for our Australian readers, we have a few cases of Rouge-Bleu wines arriving soon. Click here for the pre-order form


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.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
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.


You might want to check out - their website is easy to navigate for self-publishing. Using a PDF file is the best way. If you use the old way of designing the cover (one of the options) you can put a large photo on the front and a small one on the back and choose your own fonts. I've used them several times. Their color reproduction is good. B&W books can have color covers. If you have even only one color photo in the body of the book the whole book is priced for color. Bonne chance!

Jules Greer

Hi Honey,

I love this post - did you know we had over 165 comments generated from last Wednesdays post, this number includes all of the help in editing you received in the two stories you asked for help in editing. I am so crazy-in-love with all of your commentors (sp?)

Your 21 day challenge one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I was up again at 5 a.m. ready to climb the publishing mountains you have introduced me to.

I love you Honey - you are such an inspiration for me at this time of my life.



Suzi Hodgson

I'm a watcher, and as I watch you and your mom share this experiance. It fills my heart with joy.There is know other thing in life that can give a mother purpose beyond, what they think they can do.But the Joy of helping their children.

Jules Greer

Hi Suzi,

For any of you readers that don't already know this fact: SUZI and I became best friends when we were both little girls (around the age of 8-10 years.) Now we are both 65 and I still count SUZI as my truest friend. She knows almost all of my secrets....



Karen Whitcome (Towson, MD. USA)

Any posts about affirmations of the heart that you may receive are always of interest to us - especially when chin deep in exhausting endeavors like this, Kristin!

Keep up the fantastic effort and watch your stress levels. It sounds like you are still being observant as always to the little things that make up each minute of our days. That makes me feel that you are just soaring with happiness and doing what you love to do.

Sending you heart vibes today!!

David Kirk

Kristin - I am a new follower, and enjoy getting 4 stories with each post now (the new one plus the three that you are asking for edits on). Have you decided how you are going to add the French-English translations to each story - at the end of each story, like you do in your posts; at the bottom of the appropriate page; at the end of the book; or ??
I am confident in your success.

Astor Adams

Love the pictures. A ruin with a heart place on it's walls. I know I love that picture. Even when I dont have the time to read the full post I look at the pictures for a smile.


Kristin--GO GIRL!!!! I love the hearts (maybe angel messages?) Mary


I am especially fond of hearts. We named our business "Heart Works". We took the name from Colossians 3:23.

Blessings, Mary

Candy in CO

I am NEVER disappointed by anything that you write, chere Kristin! Bonne chance avec le grand projet! Tu peux le faire! Allez! Bon courage! :)


Having tried self-publishing myself, I found that Times New Roman or Arial are the easiest to read - though the others may seem much prettier or more interesting. It's probably better to save the prettier ones for titles or chapter headings.
Thank you for letting us share in this. We are all rooting for you!

Betty Gleason with blue pencil in hand

Heart to you Kristi. Thank you for choosing "Blossoming in Provence" as the title for your book. As I said to your mother "Way cool! I will now be the published author of a book title. That's enough for me. I'll leave the real writing & book publishing to you all."

Jules Greer




Julie S. from San Diego

Hi Kristin,
I enjoy all of your writings and pictures so much! Try not to put so much pressure on yourself. It is okay if it take a little longer to publish your book. Goals are great, just let it happen and it will. Happy writing!!
Amitié, Julie

P.S. How lucky you are to have such an incredibly supportive maman. Jules, you are magnifique!!

Karen from Phoenix, AZ

Love the title! You see hearts all around you because you put your heart into your writing. xoxo


So good to see a Mother /daughter sharing a special project together. I have 4 daughters and treasure any time we can have the experience of "sharing" , even if it's just a special moment in time. Good luck to you both!

Olga Brown

I love the post.
You are thinking about the text. Smart Girl!
I've tried Garamond, Goergia, Arial an Times New Roman. Garamond and Georgia at least 11pt size looks good to me. If you want to go with Times New Roman, the size should be bigger.
I would suggest to try to print several variants of fonts and sizes of one story and give it somebody (your Mom, for example) to read.

Good luck!


Your wine in Australia! Oh joy! And the outlet is in Melbourne, a mere 260kms away!
Can't wait to try it.

Marianne Rankin

Whichever font you choose, make it LARGE ENOUGH TO READ. I have 20-20 vision, but find it increasingly difficult to read the ever-shrinking print I see in so many places. I suppose I can get reading glasses, but anything that's more work to read might not be read.

The post today was all right, as you are keeping your blog readers abreast of how your project is going. But I don't recommend comments about creating the book IN the book; the book's contents should stand on their own.

I think translations should be at the end of each story, or folks will have to hunt for them, which is less convenient. Having the meaning near the context in which the words have been read makes it more likely they will be retained.


Isn't life about "le coeur? So of course we would all prefer hearing about that than the techno part of the writing. It is easy to see that your heart is always in the right place......sleep well tonight.

Mary Paulson

Hi Kristin, want you to know I'm out here reading your stories and blurbs sent to you. Just loving your insights during this adventure. I agree wholeheartedly with Suzi Hodgson and Jules. Get your rest .Cheeering for you Kristin!

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