cabanon and delphinium or larkspur (c) Kristin Espinasse French-word-a-day.com
"Blossoming in Provence Volume Two?".... Would this  photo work for the next story collection? The title could be written across the blue sky... the picture, bordered by a green cover? Your thoughts here, in the comments box.

ribambelle (une ribambelle de...)

1. a swarm, flock of (bees, birds...)

2. a string of (kids...)

3. a row of; stacks of (chairs...)

Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc Download MP3 or Wav file

Autour de la table et sous le mûrier,  il y avait une ribambelle de chaises de differentes tailles et couleurs. Around the table and under the mulberry tree, there was a row of chairs of different sizes and colors.


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse 

Writer's block continues and it isn't a matter of not having a story to tell. There is a pervading dullness that creeps in each time I begin typing. Doubts begin to mount, weighing down what began as determination. Any stick-to-it-iveness... up and splits... and there's nothing left to do but to but to give up or go through.

I've been going through the 2006 story archives after realizing that a few stories were left out of Blossoming in Provence. My plan is to publish a second volume, or companion, to the BIP book... never mind that it might be a better idea to do a collection of vineyard stories (from 2007-8) or even a collection of recent stories (2009-2011), ones that might be more "mature" than the earlier vignettes?

Then again I have been reading your suggestions for a coffee table book of "best photos". I like the idea but do not currently have a good "publishing solution" (read: house publisher!) for this kind of project (the self-publishing software that I am using does not include a good template for a photos-only book). 

What with the blocks and the doubts you'd think the universe was sending some kind of big hint... such as: why not go out and play in the garden instead? Or what about a Sunday drive... on Monday? or even a ditch day??? 

It certainly could be argued that books are made of whys and whatabouts... but they are also made of hours and hours of turnout.  

Back to work, now, on two more stories for this current collection. Want to join me? Get out your red pen! Here are the next two chapters:

"Poursuivre": our puppy Braise is pursued by a big bad bistro chair! Click here to proofread this story.

 "Toile": Françoise, the art store owner (you may remember reading this rerun, a month or so ago... to begin proofreading, click here.

... and many thanks to those who sent in edits for the story "Tremper"... including the suggestion to leave this one out of the collection. Anyone else think this one should go? Or can we keep this account of an arts-n-craft-challenged maman?


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roses in Orange (c) Kristin Espinasse
Between this photo and the one at the top of this letter, which do you prefer for a book-cover image? There are three more photos (at the end of Friday's post) to compare with these. Thanks for letting me know your favorite, here in the comments.

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Ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue this French word journal, now in its 18th year! If you enjoy these posts and would like to help keep this site going, please know your donation makes a difference! A contribution by check (click here) or via PayPal (below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!
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couler + new book project

Pink (c) Kristin Espinasse
"Pink Corners". Photo of a child's vélo and a bougainvillea taken in Ventimiglia, Italy.

couler (koo-lay) verb

    : to flow, run

Audio file: Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce these expressions: Download MP3 or Wav file

faire couler un bain = to run a bath
couler un mot à l'oreille de quelqu'un
= to drop, whisper a word in someone's ear
couler une vie heureuse = to lead a happy life
se la couler douce = to take things easy, to have a good time
ça coule de source = it's obvious, it follows naturally
faire couler de la salive = to set tongues wagging, to get people gossiping

Easy French Step-by-Step: excellent reference book for building grammar, comprehension and speaking skills.  Order here.

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

It began with Wednesday's post and today's is the same misère. I am having un tout mini—or slight—case of "bloggers block" and rather than continue suffering so many false starts (how many times have I rewritten this opening paragraph?) I'm going to just come clean and admit it: les mots ne coulent pas ce matin!

This is as good a time as any to begin editing another collection of short stories. The previous self-published book has sold 2,084 copies in the four months since it came out. The house published book, edited by Simon & Schuster, has sold somewhere around 40,000 copies since it reached bookstores in 2006. That second sales figure is modest, by house publishing standards (and one reason my offer for a "volume two" didn't convince the The Big Guys).

That's when I went back to Little Guy publishing, last November. Self-publishing may lack the perks and glamour of House publishing, but one can always balance that... by wearing a feather boa, seductive red lipstick, and an attitude! I might do well to follow my own advice... and ditch these homely pantoufles....

Unlike the house published book, the self-published edition is not available yet in Kindle (or Nook). This would be a relatively easy process... only I have not found (or taken?) the time to do it.

For this new project I have ruled out the highly ambitious "21 days or bust!" editorial calender (quelle idée c'était!). Six weeks seems to be a reasonable amount of time in which to gather and edit the nouvelles, which appeared in the 2006 editions of this French Word-A-Day journal. 

 As with the previous project, I am inviting you to participate! You will find links to the stories in upcoming posts. Please feel free to jump in with corrections. You do not need to be a grammarian or an editor to help catch the occasional coquille that pops up in these stories. A light read-through is all that is needed. If, in the reading, something seems unclear--or you find an extra virgule here or there, simply point it out in the comments box to the story in question. Here, for example is the first story in question....

Signing off now with wishes for a lovely weekend.



Comments Corner
To respond to this letter, click here. Thanks for taking the time! 


French Vocabulary

la misère = misery

un tout mini = a slight

les mots ne coulent pas ce matin! = the words aren't flowing this morning!

quelle idée c'était! = what an idea that was!

la pantoufle = house slipper

une nouvelle = short story

une coquille = typo

une virgule = comma

amicalement = yours

The road tripLe Road Trip tells the story of one idyllic French honeymoon trip, but it is also a witty handbook of tips and advice on how to thrive as a traveler, a captivating visual record with hundreds of watercolor illustrations, and a chronicle depicting the incomparable charms of being footloose in France. Armchair travelers, die-hard vagabonds, art journalists, and red wine drinkers will all find something to savor in this story. Click here for the video and reviews


Kristin Espinasse and Kathryn Hill
Kristin with Kathryn. Mom's friend Kathryn Hill joined us for our latest wine-tasting. The tasting partipants grew to nearly 20... after Jean-Marc and I talked a group of diners into joining our dégustation

  Wine tasting at Domaine Rouge-Bleu

In the center of the photo that is Karen and John Stoeckley. Check out John's art, and their B&B/Winery. To the left of Karen (and two smiles over...)  is Marilyn. She and her husband Jim have a beautiful Provence Villa Rental that you may have already noticed here.


  vineyard in Chateauneuf du Pape

How about a countryside scene (this one, from Châteauneuf-du-Pape) for the next cover? Suggestions here in the comments box.

Or maybe something more detailed... like these cozy bikes (in Orange, France)? Comment here. More "cover photos" to come...

Then again... how can anyone go wrong with sunflowers? Photo taken near Jonquières, in the Vaucluse.

Ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue this French word journal, now in its 18th year! If you enjoy these posts and would like to help keep this site going, please know your donation makes a difference! A contribution by check (click here) or via PayPal (below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!
♥ $10    
♥ $25    
♥ Or click here to send the amount of your choice

You can also support this journal by purchasing our book-in-progress, click here.