Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Panneau de publicité. An advertising signboard placed on an old cabanon. Click here to comment. To skip the debate, you might talk about the pretty flowers instead :-)
à suivre (ah swee-vrh)
: to be continued
Audio File: Listen to the following sentence: Download MP3 or Wav file
La fin de cette histoire? C'est à suivre.... The end of this story? It's coming up next....
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
Over a week ago that I wrote about 17-year-old Max's stint in French basic military training. At the end of the story, I ventured to note that Part 2 and Part 3 would follow... Mon oeil! Mon oeil! they would!
I thought I had learned my lesson about announcing story follow-ups, having discovered how any number of calamities can pop up in between (namely, lack of steam!)—only to make a struggling writer regret her best intentions!
“No more ‘to be continueds’! And no more multi-part stories'!” I’ve cried on occasions in which inspiration deflated almost as soon as the story suites, or follow-ups, were promised! But this time it isn’t want of inspiration, but lack of permission that has foiled the delivery of Part 2 and Part 3 of the ambitious Military Trilogy!
It was while picking Max's brains for details in which to build “Part 2” that my son looked at me alarmedly: "Mom, those are French military secrets! You can't share them with anyone!"
Il va sans dire, or goes without saying, that this killed la suite--and maybe even Part 3 of the not yet celebrated Trilogie Militaire! (Might as well forget “The Laundry Scene”! Saperlipopette! I wouldn't want to spill the soap! I never realized that something as banal as sorting military T-shirts and briefs—and then innocently blogging about the chore—might compromise La France!)
“Mom,” Max explained, “ce n’est pas de la rigolade!”
No, this was no laughing matter. A country’s security was at risk (I refrained from questioning Max about the likelihood of top military secrets being doled out to a troop of skinny 16-year-old volunteers. These kids were, after all, being wooed by the French government, they were not yet being entrusted with top secret info. But it would have made light of the sincere and hard work that my son had carried out, this far, had I poked fun at any part of what was, ultimately, a serious military formation. Max was right, ce n’était pas de la rigolade! What's more (should any powers that be be reading...) Max could certainly be trusted to zip his lip!)
“But what about the part about becoming invisible? Can I share that bit?” I persevered, hoping to write Part Deux.
“No! Mom, you can’t share that!”
“But you didn’t even tell me how you manage to disappear so it’s not like I’d be sharing step-by-step instructions or anything,” I argued.
Max calmly shook his head.
“OK, well then can I tell them about the see in the dark stuff?—that’s so cool to be able to see when it’s pitch black out—never mind everything’s seen in green!”
"You can share that," Max agreed, after all most armies had night vision equipment, didn't they? or some version of it—even if that amounted to no more than the bright shining lune.
So there is hope, yet, for Part 2 of the Fabulous Military Triliogy! Now to finish the laundry... housework always jogs my imagination, now if it would only jog my pen!
A suivre... (Oh, brother, there we go again. Promises, promises!)
Book Update: I hope to have another chapter for our red-penners, or voluntary readers, very soon! Thanks for sticking with me and for your patience and encouragements, which are always needed! (A little about these publishing projects here.)
mon oeil = yeah, right!
saperlipopette = don't miss this word's meaning--as well as a story on French cuss words!--here.
ce n'est pas de la rigolade = it's no joke, no laughing matter
il va sans dire = it goes without saying
la formation = training program
la lune = the moon
Training, training, training...
Smokey (background, to the right) says: Ce n'est pas de la rigolade! Serious stuff here! Now may I play?
Smokey: Ma, How do you say "blurry" in French.
Mama Braise: la langue* is a mystère. Now pull yours in!
*la langue = 1) language 2) tongue
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety