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Wednesday, April 29, 2009


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(The home being of a mobile nature, such a visit might be in Normandy or Paris or even Africa—wherever work or wonderment might take her. Aunt Cécile has worked as a mime, as a circus-tent technician and, most recently, as a driver for a punk-rock band - she even holds a poids lourds license).

You had an extra parenthesis and nothing to close it again, so I took it out and substituted a dash instead.

I would also say "When Jean-Marc's sister comes to stay with us, the kids want to touch their aunt's pink hair, ride in her strange vehicles and give up their beds for her comfort. Do you still live in a school bus and can we come visit? they want to know."

Then in the third paragraph you can leave out the pink hair and mention the orange car which she's going to be selling. Otherwise it's too repetitious. I'm assuming that this is what usually happens when she comes - or are you talking about this particular visit? If the latter, I think the edits still work.

And it's privileged, rather than priviledged.

Nice entry!!

Michele Fraser

My only comment would be that I would like to know how it went and what she is up to now - eg. a PS updaste at the end of the entry!!! Bisous,Michele x

Mary L. Holden

Leslie is a great editor! Good job, Leslie!

Bruce in northwest Connecticut

I agree with Michele. And I feel your wistfulness at the end of this piece. For many of us, though, we feel it whenever we read your blog. We are the stable, square Americans, longing to be spirited away to France.

Anyway, the only copyediting thing I could find was that you need a comma between "She is a French Robin Hood" and "and her treasures are the…" because "She is a French Robin Hood" and "and her treasures are the…" are both complete sentences.

Amanda Frost

I would delete the parentheses and just run that material into the text. It flows well enough.
When you put a French word in italics, you don't need quotation marks, unless someone is speaking, and in that case you don't use italics.


I think that in the third paragraph it should read "and the friends with whom she is travelling"

(Sorry this sounds very pompous!)

Karen from Phoenix

She is amazing and I too would love to know how the story continued.

Kristin Espinasse

Leslie, thanks for these edits. I see what you mean about pink and orange being repetitive, but I like repeating these particular details. I will keep your suggestion in mind. Meantime, does anyone else find that the repetition was too much?

Michele, thanks for the P.S. suggestion, but I would like to keep these stories in the 2006 period, without jumping to the future. (To tell the truth, not much has changed; my sister-in-law is still saving the world, and quietly so!  She has learned to weld and is creating unique, one-of-a-kind furniture (using repurposed materials; indeed, she is so caring about the environment that I find myself hiding all of my chemical cleaning products right before she arrives. More and more, we are using vinegar, baking soda, and lemons thanks to Cécile.

Bruce, thanks for the helpful explanation on why to add the comma. In this case, I like the sentence to flow through. 

Amanda, great suggestion. Parenthesis removed!

Judith, actually, the more formal (correct!) grammar works well here (it underlines the contrast between formal and *nonconformist* lives -- or what this story is about!). Thanks!


Hi dear Kristin,
I really enjoyed this story ,and enjoyed it just as it is! (PS I do not find the repetition too much!)The comparisons you draw between you and your fragine,and the difference in her life and your family' artfully done and in a way which all of us can relate to!
Left me filled with warmth and smiles.
Love, Natalia XO

Jackie Smith

A very interesting story about a very interesting person. It is indeed regrettable that we have but one life to live! My only suggestion would be to consider changing "a" to "our" to read "along our manicured driveway our family gathers for the bon voyage wishes." I think this small change would subtly emphasize the difference between your two lifestyles.

I like the repetition of pink and orange... they really make it easy to visual Cecile - I can almost see her driving up to your house!

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks, Natalia. Good to have your thoughts here :-)

Jackie, good idea to make that point clearer. Thanks, and for your thoughts about the repeated words. Very helpful. 

julie camp

Thank you for coloring today with wisteria and Cécile.

Your writing never feels forced. Regardless of where you start or end, it is just right. And the in-betweens are perfectly paced, never raced.

Judi Boeye Miller, Lake Balboa, CA

I just flew from CA to visit my daughter and family in Mississippi - and the wisteria is amazing. It is everywhere, on arbors, along the main street, along the highway. I had a huge smile seeing your photo as wisteria is just so gorgeous. It grows almost 'wild' here. Love your story and like another reader, it really is a shame we have just one life. So many of us find that maybe the 'road less traveled' might have been a pretty neat choice - like your frangine's - even though our chosen life is pretty wonderful, too!

I came to this story too late to see any edits needed that weren't already noted by your other readers. Another good vignette!

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