How to say "it's a no-no" in French?

couler + new book project

Pink (c) Kristin Espinasse
"Pink Corners". Photo of a child's vélo and a bougainvillea taken in Ventimiglia, Italy.

couler (koo-lay) verb

    : to flow, run

Audio file: Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce these expressions: Download MP3 or Wav file

faire couler un bain = to run a bath
couler un mot à l'oreille de quelqu'un
= to drop, whisper a word in someone's ear
couler une vie heureuse = to lead a happy life
se la couler douce = to take things easy, to have a good time
ça coule de source = it's obvious, it follows naturally
faire couler de la salive = to set tongues wagging, to get people gossiping

Easy French Step-by-Step: excellent reference book for building grammar, comprehension and speaking skills.  Order here.

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

It began with Wednesday's post and today's is the same misère. I am having un tout mini—or slight—case of "bloggers block" and rather than continue suffering so many false starts (how many times have I rewritten this opening paragraph?) I'm going to just come clean and admit it: les mots ne coulent pas ce matin!

This is as good a time as any to begin editing another collection of short stories. The previous self-published book has sold 2,084 copies in the four months since it came out. The house published book, edited by Simon & Schuster, has sold somewhere around 40,000 copies since it reached bookstores in 2006. That second sales figure is modest, by house publishing standards (and one reason my offer for a "volume two" didn't convince the The Big Guys).

That's when I went back to Little Guy publishing, last November. Self-publishing may lack the perks and glamour of House publishing, but one can always balance that... by wearing a feather boa, seductive red lipstick, and an attitude! I might do well to follow my own advice... and ditch these homely pantoufles....

Unlike the house published book, the self-published edition is not available yet in Kindle (or Nook). This would be a relatively easy process... only I have not found (or taken?) the time to do it.

For this new project I have ruled out the highly ambitious "21 days or bust!" editorial calender (quelle idée c'était!). Six weeks seems to be a reasonable amount of time in which to gather and edit the nouvelles, which appeared in the 2006 editions of this French Word-A-Day journal. 

 As with the previous project, I am inviting you to participate! You will find links to the stories in upcoming posts. Please feel free to jump in with corrections. You do not need to be a grammarian or an editor to help catch the occasional coquille that pops up in these stories. A light read-through is all that is needed. If, in the reading, something seems unclear--or you find an extra virgule here or there, simply point it out in the comments box to the story in question. Here, for example is the first story in question....

Signing off now with wishes for a lovely weekend.



Comments Corner
To respond to this letter, click here. Thanks for taking the time! 


French Vocabulary

la misère = misery

un tout mini = a slight

les mots ne coulent pas ce matin! = the words aren't flowing this morning!

quelle idée c'était! = what an idea that was!

la pantoufle = house slipper

une nouvelle = short story

une coquille = typo

une virgule = comma

amicalement = yours

The road tripLe Road Trip tells the story of one idyllic French honeymoon trip, but it is also a witty handbook of tips and advice on how to thrive as a traveler, a captivating visual record with hundreds of watercolor illustrations, and a chronicle depicting the incomparable charms of being footloose in France. Armchair travelers, die-hard vagabonds, art journalists, and red wine drinkers will all find something to savor in this story. Click here for the video and reviews


Kristin Espinasse and Kathryn Hill
Kristin with Kathryn. Mom's friend Kathryn Hill joined us for our latest wine-tasting. The tasting partipants grew to nearly 20... after Jean-Marc and I talked a group of diners into joining our dégustation

  Wine tasting at Domaine Rouge-Bleu

In the center of the photo that is Karen and John Stoeckley. Check out John's art, and their B&B/Winery. To the left of Karen (and two smiles over...)  is Marilyn. She and her husband Jim have a beautiful Provence Villa Rental that you may have already noticed here.


  vineyard in Chateauneuf du Pape

How about a countryside scene (this one, from Châteauneuf-du-Pape) for the next cover? Suggestions here in the comments box.

Or maybe something more detailed... like these cozy bikes (in Orange, France)? Comment here. More "cover photos" to come...

Then again... how can anyone go wrong with sunflowers? Photo taken near Jonquières, in the Vaucluse.

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
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