fils
Cool Raoul

se donner de la peine pour faire quelque chose

Fennel field (c) Kristin Espinasse
Cabanon and field of fennel near the town of Orange. Please note: the next word goes out on Tuesday!

se donner de la peine pour faire quelque chose

     : to go to a lot of trouble to do something

 Il s'est donné beaucoup de peine pour réussir. He went to a lot of trouble to succeed.

Audio file will return on Tuesday, with the next post.

Check out the latest prices for Kindle, click here and consider ordering today! Your purchase helps support this free language journal. Merci beaucoup!

 

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

Writing Lesson Number 1: Show up at the Page, Step out of God's way

Three times each week it is the same effrayant feeling. Today it was no different. Lying there asleep in bed I gradually gained consciousness. My eyes were already open when I found myself gazing at my husband's bare back. There were his deep scars (post melanoma), there was his bent hair, or "pillow head", there was that poetic point at which the curve of his torso meets the curve of his hip.

It is the most delicious part of the day, those fleeting few seconds of quiet observation--before thought ticks in, dispersing the peaceful moment. And they are the most nerve-racking, those seconds that follow.... when apprehension arrives. I turn over and peer out the porte-fenêtre, as if by shifting the body a shift in perspective will follow.

The position of the morning light falling, just so, on the grape vines, this is my alarm clock. I know it is 6:30 a.m. But the question remains: Quel jour est-il?: Saturday?... Sunday? Around this time my husband's alarm chimes in, with a hint... 

Then it hits me and there I feel it, beating at the walls of the soul's chamber! A field of butterflies begin to flap wildly and take flight. I am carried forth, with the papillons, to the following, undeniable conclusion: this is not a day of rest.... this is not a day of repos....

THIS IS STORY-WRITING DAY!!!!

The pressure is on! As a self-appointed écrivaine (when no one else is hiring, you've got to hire yourself!) with a self-appointed deadline (11 a.m. each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)  there is the alarming realization that I now have 4 hours and 26 minutes to create une édition, one that will be automatically pulled from this blog's server and delivered to readers inboxes at around 10:59 a.m.! 

This is where faith comes in. After the initial panic (What to write? What-to-write?!-What-to-write?!-What-to-write?!) there is nothing left to do but to work. The words will come....
 
Panic subsides as I grasp at a few scraps or impressions, letting them continue to bubble up to the surface of memory. But how will the broken bits and fleeting pieces add up to a meaningful story? Temptation comes haunting--the temptation to throw in le torchon and just give up. Çela ne vaut pas la peine! 

That is when I am reminded that it is all beyond me; I need only to let go... and let the story set itself free. I am no more than the fingers through which the words will flow. That is my only job. Heaven knows.

 

 Le Coin Commentaires
What are your first thoughts each morning? Are you apprehensive or excited for the new day? Do you hit the snooze button or do you bound out of bed each morning? And what about self-imposed deadlines--do you have those too and do they help you to produce? Click here to leave a comment.

 

Do you want to write stories? Books? You can! Read and be inspired by "Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life". Buy the paperback or download the Kindle edition.


French Vocabulary

effrayant,e = frightening

la porte-fenêtre = French window

Quel jour est-il? = What day is it?

le papillon = butterfly (also, a fickle person)

le repos = rest

un écrivain, une écrivaine = a writer

une édition = (newsletter) edition

le torchon = (dish)towel

Çela ne vaut pas la peine! = It's just not worth it!


.
Thank you for visiting our sponsors!

LES PORTES TORDUES (The Twisted Doors): The Scariest Way in the World to Learn and Listen to French! Check it out (if you dare). 

 

P1030695
The next time you are asked to conjure up a peaceful image... try this one! Do you see the sunflowers in the far right corner? 

MY HABIT is Amazon's new private fashion sale site offering up to 60% off hand-picked styles from designer & boutique brands, featuring apparel, shoes, jewelry and accessories. New sale events start every day and typically run for 72 hours. Click here to discover MY HABIT.
. 

Amy Plum's book "Die For Me"
Summer reading: New, in fiction--and in based in Paris! "Die For Me" by Amy Plum. In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity. When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.... Click here to buy the paperback or buy the Kindle edition

P1030697
The rocks on top of the roof help hold the tiles down when the Mistral wind blows! All photos taken with this handy pocket camera.

Has a friend forwarded you this post? Receive your own FREE subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here

Ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue doing what I love most: sharing vocabulary and cultural insights via these personal stories from France. Your contribution makes a difference. A donation by check or via PayPal is vivement appréciéeMerci infiniment! Kristi

"Bonjour, Kristin, I have enjoyed your blog now for a great number of years, watching your children grow up, your moves from house to house, enjoying your stories and photos and your development as a writer. It's way past time for me to say MERCI with a donation to your blog...which I've done today. Bien amicalement!"--Gabrielle



****

Comments