Droguerie, painted shop sign, Vaucluse, France, street lamp (c) Kristin Espinasse,
"Droguerie... et Lumière" from the Cinéma Vérité photo archives.

In Upcoming Events: Jean-Marc will be hosting a Domaine Rouge Bleu Winemaker's dinner on Monday 23rd November in Copenhagen. Menu and price will be fixed. There are only 40 seats. Booking has to be made directly to The Wine Company by e-mail:, phone +45 22 24 68 82 or fax +45 38 80 74 82

la lumière (loo-myer) noun, feminine

    : light

Advertise your business, blog, B&B or language program here! Contact Kristin.

Audio File & Example phrase: Download Wav or Download Lumière

Et la lumière fut...
And then there was light...

Book: And There Was Light: Autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, Blind Hero of the French Resistance

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

This week marks the seventh anniversary of French Word-A-Day -- and what better way to celebrate than with a bouncy, jouncy, full-of-beans puppy king!

Smokey is back! I woke up this morning to the puppy we had lost one week ago. Back was his bark-or-bust attitude of gratitude (okay, he's got the attitude... and we've got the gratitude) which brings me to my next point: remerciements.*

golden retriever puppy (c)

Thank you for the encouraging messages, for the helpful tips and information, for your empathy and for your ever warm hearts and smarts.  We are, my family and I, in awe and amazed by so much generosity of spirit. Speaking of "spirits" tchin-tchin!* and cheers to you!

Back now to today's 7-year-celebration (French Word-A-Day's birthday!):
Mille mercis
* for joining me on this French word and writing journey. It began in my soul, some time ago. Effectivement* the seed of skreeb* was first sewn in a child's heart... and has, by fits and starts, continued right up to this bright, shiny, most luminous road mark: SEPT. Sept années!* 


Oh, what a voyage this has been! I'll never forget seeing those words, back in my saguaro-studded stomping grounds: the Arizona desert. I didn't know then that I was about to embark on the voyage of an expat ecrivain.*

This breakthrough happened at the car wash... (in retrospect, what better place for transformation to take place?). After my car reappeared from behind a giant, swirling, automated mop, I took the cue and headed over to the cash register, to pay for the cleaning. I was handing over my money to the cashier when, in the time it took the caissière* to search for la monnaie* I caught sight of the poster on the wall behind her. Three simple words would rewind and restart my heart.

Live Your Dream.

It was the second time I had seen this message... Live Your Dream. I remember thinking, Yes, but how? HOW?

My dream was two-fold: to live in France ... and to write in France. But back then, as a receptionist-turned-car salesman (mine were the scale-model variety, sold via mail order catalog), I could not figure out how to further my career. Therein lies the problem. Often, it is not a matter of furthering something -- not when it is foremost to end it!

We Need to End Before We Can Begin
Since moving to France, my life has been a series of endings and beginnings. I am learning to be grateful for those endings and for the trail-blazing beginnings without which we would cease to grow and become that which we were designed to be (and only God knows that mystery).

Our task today is to chance to live our dreams. If I am to be a writer then I must live the writing life....

Your turn to fill in the blanks of the following sentence:

If I am to be a(n) ______, then I must live the _____ life.

Maybe, at this point, you are doubting (as I did, back at the car wash "Yes, but how... to live that life? The answer is simple: by a bold beginning... or even a shaky first step.

Would you like to share some of your affirmations with us in the comments box? I would love to know what you dream to be!

I leave you with a photo of my dear mom, living her dream of painting. I can just hear her saying "If I am to be a painter, then I must live the painter's life!"

Comments welcome. Thanks in advance!

bike with basket, stone fireplace, old floor tiles, painting , france, candelabra (c) Kristin Espinasse,

French Vocabulary

Tchin-tchin = cheers!; mille mercis = a thousand thanks; effectivement = actually; skreeb (French pronunciation for "scribe": writer); sept années = seven years; un écrivain = writer; la caissière = cashier; la monnaie (f) = change

Exercises in French Phonics  Exercises in French Phonics, bestseller by Francis W. Nachtman, on French pronunciation and how to pronouce French words correctly!

Mille Bornes (Card Game).
First published in 1962, Mille Bornes (pronounced "meel born," French for "milestones") is an auto racing card game whose object, for each team of two players, is to be the first to complete a series of 1,000-mile trips.

Caudalie Lip Conditioner
hydrates and repairs dry, damaged lips with a powerful blend of antioxidants and nutrients.

The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat
A former steak lover himself, Chef Tal struggled for years on a vegan diet that left him hungry and filled with cravings for butter and meat. By applying traditional French culinary techniques to meatless cuisine, he found that he could gratify his cravings for rich flavor and fat.

golden retriever puppy, ancient champagne rack (c) Kristin Espinasse,
"Boys will be boys."
A healing jaw and a traveling paw: Smokey is on the mend. (photo by Jackie Espinasse)

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check (to this new address)
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety