The scene was so classic that I wondered, as I snuck up to snap the photo, if it wasn't staged! Notice the underwear: one per "hook". Photo taken in Nyons (next to a chichi restaurant. Well, that oughta show 'em!).
It is exciting to watch the numbers as this self-published book competes with the "big guys". At one point, Blossoming in Provence made it within the top 400 in book sales at Amazon.
Many of you might be curious as to how those numbers, or popularity rankings, translate into actual book sales. If an author ranks #383 (or the 383rd most popular book sold at Amazon) he or she must be selling thousands of books, right? I checked those sales details this morning and here are the facts:
...That leaves 28,000 email readers without a book!...
The question now is... Have you bought your copy of "Blossoming in Provence"? Please know that your individual purchase makes a great difference to me. Perhaps you are waiting to buy the book at some point in the future, when you can get around to it. Why delay? Thank you for clicking here to order a copy now.
And thank you all for staying with me during these crucial first weeks of book marketing. I appreciate your patience—and even your interest—in the publication process. Merci beaucoup!
: askew, lopsided
marcher de guingois = to walk lop-sidedly
tout va de guingois = everything's going haywire
--from the National Geographic article:
"Bohemian rhapsody: on the right bank of Paris history and hip embrace..."
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse
(Note: The following story was first published in 2008)
Another odd Christmas tree this year. I should have taken Mom's advice: get an artificial one! Apart from being good for the environment, those faux firs come in perfect shapes: full-bodied and symmetrical; especially, they're kilter—and not helter-skelter!
If I weren't such a procrastinator, I would have gotten the tree I wanted: Super Sapin! (Not a bird, not a plane.... ) Though our tree may not fly or save lives (it certainly won't save the earth), it does look as if it were set for take off, what with its long and HORIZONTAL arc... like a Boeing 747.
"It's lopsided!" I point out to Jean-Marc, after he has placed the tree. "Wait a minute..." I remark, suspiciously. "Didn't it come with a stand?"
"No. It didn't."
"You mean the nursery didn't have stands for sale?"
"They did, but the stands weren't any good."
They never are! He was just trying to get out of buying a stand! Next, I discover his solution: our umbrella stand. He's swiped our umbrella stand to use for a tree brace. Pas vrai!
If it weren't so amusing—to see that tree stuffed, de guingois, into the umbrella stand like a wet parapluie—I'd scream! But I am learning to laugh at these peculiarities. Take, for example, our bathroom light fixture, the one just above the mirror. When the screw fell out, we might have replaced it. Instead, a box of aspirin was set between the light and the mirror (now, when the box of aspirin pops out, all we have to do is pick it up off the floor (easier to see than a small screw) and stick it back in its place). Ta-da!
Chez nous, it is always a balancing act... a regular circus we are! From time to time, I find myself lamenting, "Why... why can't we just be normal?" Why do I have to lean to the side in order to see our Christmas tree as it should be? Why can't our tree stand be normal looking, like the tree stands of other French families? Why do we have to treat our pine as a parasol? Still grumbling about my husband's eccentricities, I gather the fresh laundry which I have strewn around the house on every free hook or chair back or table (any freestanding structure will do). Other housewives may have hung out their clothes on the line to dry today, but I don't trust the northern wind: sacré Mistral!
Collecting some dry underwear from the fire-stoker rack beside the cheminée, and reaching for some chaussettes sèches (slung over the candelabra), I notice the look on my husband's face... but I am quick to put him back in his place; after all, it is HE who is the oddball!
However different, there we stand, united in silence, our heads leaning to the same side as we study our Christmas tree.
"It's lopsided, you know."
"Yes, Dear," my husband looks over at me. Our eyes return to the lopsided tree as we stare silently.
"Il a pris un sacré coup de Mistral!" Jean-Marc offers, and our silence dissolves into laughter.
pas vrai = it can't be true!
de guingois = lopsided
le parapluie (m) = umbrella
sacré Mistral = blasted Mistral (wind)
la cheminée = fireplace
chaussettes (f) sèches = dry socks
il a pris un sacré coup de Mistral = it was hit by a mighty gust of wind
Braise (left) and Smokey (right) wish everyone a lovely celebration!
Thank you so much for reading these stories and for the time you've set aside to learn a French word or two. If you feel you have learned more than a little vocabulary, here, and would like to reward my efforts please know that a one-time contribution is not only a great support, but it is vivement apprécié. Simply use the quick links below (they'll take you to PayPal). Merci beaucoup!