Writing Abroad



City of Lights, one of my short stories, will be part of the 2015 Kaleidoscope Anthology from Writers Abroad. The stories had to be written in English from authors who have left their native land. This year theme was Light and the publication is scheduled for October 2015. The money earned from the sales will benefit the charity Room to Read.

Thank you, Kimberly, for blogging about this opportunity of publication.

Writing in English for a non-native speaker is both stimulating and intimidating. So any success is an encouraging nudge. Especially when the publication benefits a cause that means a lot to me.




Happy Father’s Day! Bonne Fête des Pères!



Although Mother’s Day never falls on the same day in the States and France, Father’s Day is always celebrated on the same Sunday in my two favorite countries on earth.

When I was preparing my homage to the fathers of this world, I searched my blog for the posts I wrote for this special day. I don’t like to repeat myself too much, and yet I hope that you will forgive me.

My emotions and thoughts are still the same on this 2015 Father’s Day as they were last year.

To the fathers and pères, to the daddies and papas out there:

Happy Father’s Day! Bonne Fête des Pères!

Enjoy your special day and happy summer too!






With Summer Come Good Things


Summer is almost here. With summer come good things that we started during the short, darker days of winter.

Today I’m happy to share just a few with you.


* The three Picture Book manuscripts that I submitted to the 2015 CYA made the short list in the writing competition.

The Children’s and Young Adults Writing and Illustrating Conference is based in Australia, and I thank my friend Stella from Sydney for introducing me to the writing competition.

Wish me luck!


*The first draft of my new Middle Grade novel is well under way.

Although I freaked out many times this winter considering my slow progress, I’m happy to say that spending time with my fictional characters, before jumping to the keyboard, wasn’t such a bad idea. Talking of keyboard, I found out that my old notebook and pen weren’t too bad either. In the end I got to know my people much better and handwriting is more liberating than typing.


*Thank you, Chris, for having me today as a Guest Author on your popular and prolific blog.

From The Story Reading Ape’s Blog Chris generously provides various tips for writers and links to other writers. From inspiration to publishing, from drafting to marketing, there is something for everyone interested in the craft of writing and publication.

Thank you, Chris, for introducing my writing to the people who read your blog.

And thank you, my regular readers, for following my writing journey.



Enjoy the summer and the many good things that come with the season!














Miam Miam or a Few Tips to Eat Out in France

French Memories


This is not until my French-born daughter entered preschool that she learned that Yum Yum was the French Miam Miam. Of course she taught me this new expression, too.

This summer she’s going to Paris, and as she and I went through the very small and yet significant differences between France and the US, I realized that many were related to eating out rituals.

While most young French waiters and waitresses, especially in Paris and large French cities, speak enough English to make things easier than ever for American visitors, a few things never translate.


    • Although the French never say “Bonjour” to strangers in the street, they always address waiters and waitresses with the polite, “Bonjour, Madame, Bonjour, Monsieur,” and also thank them in a more formal way than we do in the States. “Merci, Madame, Merci, Monsieur,” is expected.
    • Bread and flat water, served in a carafe without ice cubes, are free and will always be brought upon your arrival. Don’t ask for more as your waiter/waitress will always replenish the breadbasket and refill the carafe.
    • Servings are smaller in France than in the US, so don’t share your meal with your friends or family. Order une entrée (an appetizer), un plat principal (an entrée) and un dessert (a dessert). You can skip dessert for un café (one coffee). If you order dessert and still want coffee, order it after your dessert.
    • Don’t rack your brains to calculate tax and tips. Since the Euro currency, they are included.
    • The French don’t split l’addition (the check) the way we do in the States. If you are a party of six, don’t ask for six separate checks but for l’addition, s’il vous plait.
    • If you are looking for the restrooms, don’t ask for the “Salle de Bains,” which is the Bathroom, but for Les toilettes, s’il vous plait.
    • The French live in anticipation or in the memory of a good meal. Food is a pleasure, not a drag. French waiters and waitresses won’t ask you if you are still “working” on your plate or if you are “done” and want a “doggie bag.” Chance is you’ll eat most of your plate since food is served in smaller quantity and really delicious in France. You won’t be rushed through your meal, so plan accordingly if you are going to the movies or a play, for example. Or go to a café and order le Plat du Jour.
    • If you travel with young children, don’t expect booster seats, high chairs and children’s menus everywhere. Children, though, are welcome everywhere, treated like real people, expected to sit for the duration of a meal, eat regular food and behave properly. Everyone will be nice to them, but they won’t receive royal treatment.
    • If you speak just a few words of French, go ahead. Everyone likes it when Americans don’t assume that the entire world speaks English. And of course a smile remains universal.

My daughter, of course, knew every single one of my small tips. After all, she reminded me, I was born there.

French Memories

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