Saturday, November 30, 2013

Winning

This evening at 7 p.m., I finished writing 50,000 words as part of Nanowrimo, National Novel Writing Month. I already had 25,000 words written for my novel A Charm of Finches, and now I've added 50,000 words, which means a grand total of 75,000 words.
So how many words does it take to make a novel,  you may ask? My first novel, The Summer of France, was more than 80,000 words, and I've had people complain that it was too short. My next novel coming soon, I See London, I See France is around 100,000 words.
Romance novels might be around 60,000 words, so different novels are different lengths.
Any way, I completed 50,000 words in November.
That means I'm a winner.
As you can see from this nifty, retro animation winner button. 

And this one, which shows I've won an empty treasure chest. Maybe it's just a treasure trove opening as I put my words on the page. 

And here's a banner which I could put on my Facebook page, but I probably won't. But if you haven't yet, and you'd like to, you can visit my author page Paulita Kincer on Facebook and like me. I'd appreciate it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

First Paragraph, Tuesday Teaser -- The Perfume Collector

Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the first paragraph of her current read. Anyone can join in. Go to Diane's website for the image and share the first paragraph of the current book you are reading.
I'm awash in books that I'm excited to read. The cover alone of The Perfume Collector would pull me in.
The novel by Kathleen Tessaro is even endorsed by Marian Keyes, one of my favorite authors, and set in France. I don't even have to open it to know I'll love it. But I hope it lives up to my expectations.
Here's the intro:
Eva d"Orsey sat at the kitchen table, listening to the ticking clock, a copy of Le Figaro in front of her. This was the sound of time, moving away from her.
Taking another drag from a cigarette, she looked out of the window, into the cold misty morning. Paris was waking now, the grey dawn, streaked with orange, seeping slowly into a navy sky. She'd been up for hours, since four. Sleep had inched away from her these past years as the pain increased, shooting up along the left side of her body. 
Don't you love this character already? And the line about time moving away from her!
Also this week  is Teaser Tuesdays. Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Open to a random page of your current read  and share a teaser sentence from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.
Here's my randomly selected teaser from page 57:

Her lips were so thin as to be nothing more than an idea for a mouth. 
I love the writing in that line. As a matter of fact, I wish I'd written it.
Looking forward to see what you all are reading to increase my reading stack for the holidays.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dreaming of France -- The French House


Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
This week, I read on my Kindle a book set in France called The French House by Nick Alexander. I really enjoyed this book and just flew through it.
The book begins predictably with Victor, a Frenchman, mostly raised in England, inheriting a house in the mountains along the south of France about an hour from Nice airport. Victor was a gynecologist who decides to give up his practice to raise goats in France. His Irish girlfriend, CC, who lives in London, flies to join him and is surprised to learn that the house is a ruin.
The farmhouse is a large single-storey [sic] building of the same grey stone from which all the drystone walls around the property are made. It is set into a  niche carved from the hill behind. The building has only two tiny windows on the visible side and a gaping hole in the roof. To the right and left of the main house are two outbuildings, each about two-thirds the size of the main house, neither of which has any roof whatsover.
The sun is dipping behind the mountains now, the whole ensemble sliding into grey and, to be perfectly honest, I'm struggling to see the potential. The overriding ambience is cold, derelict and rather sinister. 
CC and Victor are in love and decide that CC will quit her job in London to move to France, and they start trying to have a baby since they are both in their 30s.
So, the book could be fairly predictable, trying to get work done on a ruin of a house in France, but the story is bolstered by Victor's next door neighbor, his aunt who he hadn't seen since he was 11. CC is convinced that the aunt is a witch trying to kill her. She suffers through food poisoning and swine flu along with other strange occurrences that include tarot cards.
 Even though I liked the book, I would probably give it three out of five stars because of loose ends that weren't tied up, and the main character doesn't seem to be true to himself. He kind of changes in the middle then moves back to the person he was in the beginning.
Also, this book doesn't really give you a chance to fall in love with France because they are living so rough. You don't get enough of those moments that people dream about when they imagine moving to France.
The ending was emotionally satisfying, but, too many things that happened in the book were not answered by the end.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Room With a View as Writing Inspiration

I'm busy writing and editing today. I've passed 35,000 words in my Nanowrimo efforts and as I was writing a love scene, I had to return to one of my favorite lines from Room With a View when Cecil asks Lucy if he can kiss her. She says, "Well, of course, you may, Cecil. You might have before. I can't run at you, you know."
Here's the scene from youtube. The kiss comes around 3 minutes.
And, as a comparison, we must revisit the scene of the kiss in an Italian poppy field. This was what she compared -- Cecil's  kiss and George's kiss.
Love the soaring Italian opera music. I might have stuck with the Italian drive myself but Julian Sands is divine in this.
Which would you choose?
Lovely to remember and enjoy as I continue my solitary life as a writer.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

First Paragraph, Tuesday Teaser -- The Interestings

Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the first paragraph of her current read. Anyone can join in. Go to Diane's website for the image and share the first paragraph of the current book you are reading
I just opened up The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. I know I've read something by Wolitzer before but can't remember what. Hope I get a chance to read this over the upcoming holidays.
 On a warm night in early July of that long-evaporated year, the Interestings gathered for the very first time. They were only fifteen, sixteen, and they began to call themselves the name with tentative irony. Julie Jacobson, an outsider and possibly even a freak, had been invited in for obscure reasons, and now she sat in a corner on the unswept floor and attempted to position herself so she would appear unobtrusive yet not pathetic, which was a difficult balance. The teepee, designed ingeniously though built cheaply, was airless on nights like this one, when there was no wind to push in through the screens. Julie Jacobson longed to unfold a leg or do the side-to-side motion with her jaw that sometimes set off a gratifying series of tiny percussive sounds inside her skull. But if she called attention to herself in any way now, someone might start to wonder why she was here; and really, she knew, she had no reason to be here at all. It had been miraculous when Ash Wolf had nodded to her earlier in the night at the row of sinks and asked if she wanted to come join her and some of the others later. Some of the others. Even that wording was thrilling. 

Also this week  is Teaser Tuesdays. Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Open to a random page of your current read  and share a teaser sentence from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.
Here's my randomly selected teaser from page 64:
Her suite mates were a group of girls as mean as you could ever find, not to mention slatternly, unacademic. It was just a piece of bad luck that she had been put with them. The suite smelled of hot comb. The girls screamed at one another with abandon and contempt, as though this place were some kind of halfway house for the deranged. 
What do you think? Have you read this one?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dreaming of France -- I See London, I See France


Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
Although I'm not positive when the new book will be available for purchase, I'm hoping it's on the virtual shelves before Christmas. One thing that is ready -- the new cover.
After a dozen years of marriage and three kids, Caroline's husband walks out in a huff one afternoon. As the separation persists, she decides travel can help her find that joie de vivre she is missing. So she sells her minivan and takes the three kids to Europe. She visits London, Scotland and Paris before settling near friends in Aix en Provence. The color begins to seep back into her life but should she credit the handsome Jean-Marc, her crush from years before? And what will she do about that husband she left behind?
Thanks for playing along with me today.

Friday, November 15, 2013

France Book Tours Wolfsangel & Saturday Snapshot

At the beginning of this book, set in eastern France, we learn that the main character has a secret. It is clear that 68 years after World War II, she still feels guilt over something. 
 As I read Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat, I tried to guess what might have happened. So many awful things happened in World War II. Was she a conspirator? Did she betray someone accidentally because she fell for a handsome German officer?
Wolfsangel focuses on Céleste Roussel, a woman of around 20, as her French village is overrun by German soldiers. Céleste finds herself attracted to a German officer even as she continues perpetual arguments with her mother who has always disapproved of her.
This isn't simply a war story; it's the story of people who can't believe the meanness going on around them. They fight to save those they love. The characters in this novel are passionate and even though I know the overall conclusion of the war, I found myself wondering what would happen at each mission. The story was interesting and quick moving. In addition to Céleste, her brother Patrick, and childhood friends Olivier, Miette, and Ghislaine, join the resistance to defeat the Nazis.
What I didn't like about this novel -- the title or the cover. Neither of them would have pulled me in if I hadn't been asked to review the book. Although the title Wolfsangel is explained as a symbol of the SS German police, and Céleste's older sister is described as an angel, the title didn't resonate with me. The book cover isn't clear to me. The character looks more like a chimney sweep than a resistance fighter and I was never clear about the bird and I couldn't really tell that the building among the smoke was a church.
For me, the book was a pleasant surprise. It had some violence, obviously, since it was set in war time, but it all worked to set an authentic scene.

Here's the synopsis:
Seven decades after German troops march into her village, Céleste Roussel is still unable to assuage her guilt.
1943. German soldiers occupy provincial Lucie-sur-Vionne, and as the villagers pursue treacherous schemes to deceive and swindle the enemy, Céleste embarks on her own perilous mission as her passion for a Reich officer flourishes.
When her loved ones are deported to concentration camps, Céleste is drawn into the vortex of this monumental conflict, and the adventure and danger of French Resistance collaboration.
As she confronts the harrowing truths of the Second World War’s darkest years, Céleste is forced to choose: pursue her love for the German officer, or answer General de Gaulle’s call to fight for her country.
Her fate suspended on the fraying thread of her will, Celeste gains strength from the angel talisman bequeathed to her through her lineage of healer kinswomen.
The decision she makes will shadow the remainder of her days.
A woman’s unforgettable journey to help liberate Occupied France, Wolfsangel is a stirring portrayal of the courage and resilience of the human mind, body and spirit.
Leave a comment to be registered to win a copy of this book. I'll draw a winner on Saturday, Nov. 23.

 Also this week is Saturday Snapshot.
To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme, post a photo that you (or a friend of family member) have taken. Then leave a direct link to your post on West Metro Mommy. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.
This is a touristy, kitschy place here in central Ohio. It probably was a corn field originally. Now it's a field full of corn statues. I took it as a panoramic shot, but it doesn't seem to be expanding when you click on it. You'll have to take my word for it that the entire field is full of concrete ears of corn over six feet tall.

College Money Makers

I'm not sure why it took until my third child for me to realize the money making schemes that colleges have going on. I'm not talking about the outrageous tuition either. That's another story.
Colleges make money on people who will never attend there. Some of whom will not even get accepted.
Maybe I'm just realizing it because my other kids focused on small colleges. When they applied to college, they usually had fees waived to apply.
Big public schools though don't waive fees. To apply at Ohio State University costs $60. Last year, about 12,000 students applied to attend, which would bring in around $720,000 just in application fees. Of those 12,000, 7,186 new freshman began attending OSU. I don't know how many of them were not accepted and how many of them chose to go to college somewhere else.
One college that Tucker has been thinking about this year is the University of Miami in Florida. Its communications school has a good reputation, so we planned to let him apply there. Then I looked at the information about the average freshman attending U of Miami. The average, average GPA (grade point of average) of incoming freshman was 4.2. Now 4.0 is a perfect GPA. That means the student received straight As throughout high school.  Yet for U of M, the average was 4.2 which means half the students had higher GPAs than that. (Okay, my math skills aren't great but it must be a number of students with higher GPAs).
U of M was giving Tucker a pretty hard press to apply and when I saw the average GPA, I pointed out that he did not have a GPA nearly high enough to get into the school. The application fee was $70. So the schools work very hard sending out letters, emails, making phone calls to get students to apply even when they can never be accepted into the school.
Then I looked at the U of M statistics and they will receive 28,900 applications. At 70 bucks per student, that's over $2 million in application fees. Only 2000 students will be accepted.
So that's when I began to realize that college applications are a scam too.
One friend told me that her son decided to apply at colleges that don't have an application fee then to go visit the places where he was accepted.
Tucker wants to attend a large college though, so I suppose there isn't a way to avoid paying fees. I am trying to limit the fees to schools I think might be a good fit.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

FranceBookTours -- WolfsAngel Excerpt & Giveaway

For France Book Tours, I'm reviewing the historical fiction novel Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat set in France during World War II.
I don't want to give anything away, but the tension is high as the resistance fights again the German occupiers and the main character flirts with a German officer in hopes of gaining information.
Check back on Saturday for a full review.
For today, please enjoy this excerpt from Wolfsangel and leave a comment to be registered to win --two ebook giveaways in the U.S. and one signed paperback in Europe.
 We gather in the cemetery, before the ossuary, with
the straggle of other remaining survivors and their
families. Our heads dipped, the mayor begins his
memorial speech to commemorate the tragedy that became a
legend around these parts; the evil that part of me still believes
was the result of my own reckless actions.
There isn’t a region in France that didn’t pay the price of war
with the blood of its children, but here in the village of Luciesur-
Vionne one can truly contemplate the depths to which the
pure devilry of man was cast.
The chill of last winter stole my husband, and though my
extended family are with me, I feel lonely without him by my
side, remembering the fateful afternoon that has tormented me
for sixty-eight years — the sickening odour of charred flesh, the
smoke parching my throat, the green-brown blur of the woods
as I fled the clomp of German boots. My fingertips skitter across
the scar on my left arm, eternal reminder of that inconceivable
climb, then the free-fall of an unstrung puppet, and the certainty
that I too would die any second.
My conscience might have been soothed if I’d been punished;
if I’d had to pay somehow, but by then there was barely a soul left
to sit in judgement.
Perhaps that’s why I chose to become a midwife, bringing
new lives into a world from which I’d taken so many. Or, as my
mother claimed, the birthing skills were simply in my blood.
I glance across at my granddaughter, who wears the bone
angel necklace these days. She’s gripping the pendant between
her thumb and forefinger as I used to; as countless kinswomen
of L’Auberge des Anges did before us. I touch the spot where it
once lay against my own breast, feeling its warmth as if I were
still wearing the little sculpture.
I wonder again if my daughter and granddaughter truly
understand what that heirloom endured with me through those
years of the occupation. Can they grasp the comfort, the strength
it gave me? I doubt it. You’d have to live through a thing like that
to really know how it was.
My eyes slide down the list of names engraved on the ossuary’s
marble plaque, their cries, curses and laughter chiming in my
ears as if it were yesterday.
The breeze catches the perfume of lilacs and splays the
velvety heads of the red roses, like opened hearts, as the mayor
concludes his sombre speech. We stand in silence for a minute,
remembering those who never got the chance to grow old —
loved ones who perished for our freedom.
From beside the row of the oldest, grandest headstones, the
band strikes up La Marseillaise, the trumpets drowning out
shrill birdsong and the low hum of a passing tractor.
We trudge out of the cemetery and head along the woodland
path to the Vionne River for a picnic lunch, as we do every year.
It’s part of the ritual.
Ip, ip trills a bird. Ga, ga cackles another. A dragonfly hovers
over a seam of current that folds the waters of the river across
stones, ferns and errant flower heads. The Vionne displays her
illusion of tranquillity, though I know, better than most, that it
has claimed victims — witches of the Dark Ages punished by
drowning, and the children who perished two centuries ago, for
whom a stone memorial cross sits on the ridge.
I think of the others who died here — those who have no
such memorial; not the slightest trace, for rain and snow have
long since washed away the bloodstains. I have always wondered
who found them and where they were buried, and if it weren’t
for a dog-eared sepia photograph gathering dust in a secreted
wooden box, I might convince myself they had never existed.
After the picnic, my daughter offers to drive me home to the
farm. No, thank you very much, I tell her, I’m only eighty-nine,
still quite capable of walking back to L’Auberge.
L’Auberge des Anges, haven for weary travellers, orphans and
refugees, which has withstood centuries of plague, revolution
and war, reclines on the crest of the slope like a solid matriarch.
I shuffle through the wooden gateway, the sun flinging its
warmth across the cobbled courtyard, the pink puffs of cherry
blossom and the white backsides of rabbits bobbing through the
orchard.
My daughter fancies herself as an artist and as I negotiate
the uneven cobbles, I dodge the collection of sculptures she
has fashioned from scrap metal, waste and discarded objects —
effigies of our loved ones who never came home. The official
document confirming their deaths didn’t arrive until 1948 but it
seemed we’d already mourned them for a lifetime.
Curious travellers who have heard of the tragedy stop off in
Lucie-sur-Vionne on their way south, or west to the Atlantic
coast, for summer holidays. Once they’ve toured the legendary
site they find their way up here to L’Auberge des Anges, and
wander amongst my daughter’s sculptures. They ask us who the
people were, and they want to know about Max, as they admire
his paintings in the gallery.
I climb the steps, wincing as another barb pierces my frail
shell. It appears from nowhere, this guilt I claimed from the
smouldering wake of that evil reprisal. I know it will shadow
me for days, weeks or months. Then, as winter seems to have
settled forever, spring arrives, and my self-reproach will vanish
for a time, only to return to the same dark nooks of my mind,
the cycle beginning again.
No one ever knew for certain why they marched into Lucie
sur-Vionne that hot June morning of 1944, but it is a crime I
have never been able to forget. Nor can I forgive. Least of all
myself.
I'll see you again on Saturday with my review. And leave a comment either today or Saturday or both to be entered to win a copy.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Entertaining Out-of-Town Visitors

Our friends' son, Nicolas, 27, came to visit for two evenings and we needed to figure out how to entertain him. He came to Columbus in between New York City and Chicago, so obviously we were never going to live up to either of those.
The problem is that Columbus' motto is "It's a great place to live, but you wouldn't want to visit."
I had only one secret weapon to make the stay worthwhile -- a 21-year-old daughter. And I do think he enjoyed the stay because he and Grace went out on the town both nights.
During the day on Monday, we ate lunch at Dirty Franks -- it's a hot dog place. We figured that was pretty American. 
We visited an Indian Mound and explained that they dot the countryside around Ohio. Some of them are much more exciting, like Serpent Mound, but is more than an hour away.
I wanted to take Nicolas to a place that no one else would, so I drove to the Field of Corn. Only in Ohio. It's a field with statues of giant corn. I plan to post a panoramic photo on Saturday, so don't miss it.

Next we visited Chief Leatherlips, which is a statue built into the bank of the Scioto River. Chief Leatherlips didn't even do anything that exciting, but he is memorialized here and you can walk on his head. 

The highlight of the day for me, was the soiree we planned that evening. In addition to eating and drinking, my friend Pam busted open the piano and there was singing too. I served goat cheese pasta with shrimp and a green salad. When Nicolas saw the salad dressing, he offered to make a vinaigrette, but I said it was an American meal so he had to eat the bottled salad dressing. I promised that it had no GMOs and only real ingredients without chemical sounding names. 
I was most worried about the wine, but I had a chardonnay from Italy (bought at Trader Joe's for only $4.99 per bottle, don't tell!) and he proclaimed it good wine. 
For dessert, turtle cake with a layer of chocolate cake, a caramel and butter layer, then chocolate chips and another layer of chocolate cake. We had a New York Riesling with dessert.
When everyone left, Grace and Nicolas headed down the street to the local bar again. Apparently he was quite popular there with people buying him shots and guessing where he was from. No one guessed France, although someone guessed Belgium. "How could they guess Belgium and not France?" he raged. "Belgium is so small."
A lovely visit.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dreaming of France -- French Hosts


Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
Maybe we can all satisfy our yearnings for France, until we get there again.

I'm busy preparing for our French visitor who is now spending two nights. I have a dinner party set up for Monday evening and decided nothing will be more American than going out for Mexican tonight.
Our young friend Nicolas has watched his parents play host to Earl and me many times. I hope we make him feel equally welcome.
Here's a picture from one of our visits to Nicolas' parents in Nantes. The French make it look so effortless to host people. 
The table is set beautifully.
 
The cheese cart is ready for after dinner.
The teenage boys have hearty appetites and impeccable manners. 
The dessert wine is superb.
Wish me luck as I work on my hostessing skills.
Thanks for playing along today.


Saturday, November 09, 2013

Saturday Snapshot

To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme, post a photo that you (or a friend of family member) have taken. Then leave a direct link to your post on West Metro Mommy. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online
This was such a glorious  morning that I wanted to share it with you. I was torn between photos of the beautiful colored leaves and the show-stopping blue sky with contrails across the sky. 
Here's a mix of both.

Some of the red leaves are truly beautiful. The yellow ones are too but they are harder to capture on my iPhone camera.

Some round bushes have gone an amazing red. I don't know if they do this every year and I just never noticed before, or if this is an especially good year for these bushes.

Also this week I am announcing the winner of a giveaway for Mike Dixon's book Wolf Wood. Thanks to everyone who entered. I entered the names of everyone to a Random Name Selector on my phone then pushed the button and Valentina came up as the winner. So Mike will be sending her a copy of his book.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Giveaway Winner & Life Getting in the Way

I know I owe everyone the name of the giveaway for Mike Dixon's book Wolf Wood.
I promise to do a fair and square drawing on Saturday and write a real blog post about it..
Meanwhile, I'm shuffling along on my NaNoWriMo challenge and I've written more than 14,000 words so far this month.
NaNo has some cool widgets that would tell you how much I've written. I can't predict whether this will change as I update my word count or not.


So, I'm busy writing, plus the usual family stuff. Plus I have a sinus infection and apparently a trick knee. The sinus and the knee pain have kept me from running very far. I'm sure both are hurting my progress on my novel.
And my novel has just gone in a strange direction, but I figure as long as I keep writing, there will have to be some parts in there worth saving.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

First Paragraph,, Tuesday Teaser -- Wolfsangel

Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the first paragraph of her current read. Anyone can join in. Go to Diane's website for the image and share the first paragraph of the current book you are reading.
This week I'm starting Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat as part of France Book Tours. I'll be writing a full review on November 16 so come back to see what I think about it. The book, set in rural France, focuses on Celeste Roussel who still feels guilty over her actions during the World War II when she fell in love with a German soldier and had to choose between the conquering army and the French resistance.
Here's the intro:
We gather in the cemetery, before the ossuary, with the straggle of other remaining survivors and their families. Our heads dipped, the mayor begins his memorial speech to commemotrate the tragedy that became a legend around these parts; the evil that part of me still believes was the result of my own reckless actions.

 Also this week is Teaser Tuesdays. Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Open to a random page of your current read  and share a teaser sentence from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.
Here's my teaser from page 4% on my Kindle:

I gave Olivier a small smile of admiration, wishing I too could summon the strength to stand up against my own mother. Like the war that raged across Europe, I ached to flee the smaller-scale battle that had entangled my mother and me for as far back as I could remember. 
I look forward to seeing what everyone else is reading.
Also this week, today is the last day to register to win a copy of the book Wolf Wood by Mike Dixon. Just leave a message here or on last week's Tuesday post to be registered to win a copy.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Dreaming of France -- Reversed


Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
Maybe we can all satisfy our yearnings for France, until we get there again.
As some of us are dreaming of France, a Frenchman we know is dreaming of America, so he is coming to visit for the first time.
Nicolas is the son of our good friends Michel and Danuta who live in Nantes. I met Michel and Danuta when I visited France as an au pair and Danuta was pregnant with Nicolas at the time. Whenever anyone in our family visits France, Michel and Danuta are the best tour guides ever and they serve us magnificent meals paired with fabulous wines.
I want to return the favor for Nicolas. He will be here in Columbus for two days, and I have some ideas about sights to see, but I'm really stumped about what American meal to serve our French friend.
Whether  you're American or Australian or Canadian or any other nationality, what homemade meal would a French person like to eat in the United States?

Writing in November

Right now, I'm feeling very happy about my writing. Not that the writing is especially fabulous, but I'm meeting my schedule, so that makes me happy.
November is NaNoWriMo which stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is 50,000 words in a month.
I have a careful schedule that requires me to write 2000 words per day, along with editing my other novel.
Here's a book cover that I rejected for my next novel. But I'll reveal the new one soon. 
Of course, my family hasn't disappeared, so I also have some things to take care of there -- cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, talking to them, listening to them!
Plus, there are those pesky classes that need care and tending too. I've put grading on my schedule too. And, truthfully, that's the only place I've fallen behind.
But I gained an extra hour last night, so I'm going to try to catch up today.
It looks like my computer and I will be spending the day together.
How bout you? What does your Sunday look  like?

A Cat Story

If you've read my blog in the past, you know how busy I am this time of  year with 8-10 page research papers turned in from each of my s...