Helloooo blog world!
I've had to tone it down in the blogging department because I'm feverishly working on two books at once. One is my next novel (It's not a sequel to Hidden in Paris. That will have to wait a bit or else I'm going to lose my mind.) and one is a self-help book for neurotic writers, which, as you can imagine, I am uniquely qualified to write.
I'm planning to write the weather away skipping --if possible--the madness of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although I am celebrating the season in my own way by experimenting with pies (a future cookbook perhaps?) I'm trying to produce *The* perfect crust. Flaky, golden, but that won't crumble into pie shrapnels when you slice it. There's been a lot of failures as in any scientific endeavors, and I'm my own guinnea pig, and I'm left to I'm eat hits and misses. So if by Spring time they have to send a crane to dislodge my butt from my desk chair I will blame it on science and on my readers. I do it all for you. You know I do!
Meanwhile here are a few photos I took in Paris last April. You remember how it rained and rained?
But really all this rain was lovely. I loved that popular streets were eerily deserted.
When you want to take tourist-free pictures in Montmartre, just go early in the morning and make sure the rain is coming down by the bucket full.
Nostalgia was in every corner. From sounds, to smells and sights, it all came back, rushing in. It was as though I had never left. I wandered thinking of my novel, placing my new characters in this quartier or that one. But really, I was gorging on Paris. It was also my first time in over 20 years when I got to have a husband and children-free Parisian experience. This means I got to do precisely what I wanted, go where I wanted, eat and rest when I wanted. That freedom was the greatest luxury of all.
When I was tired I sat at a café or a bistro and ordered something unbelievably delicious and wrong, and proceeded to spy on French conversations. I secretly took page after page of notes about interesting Parisian quirks. That's the good thing of being an expatriate. You get to look at your country of birth with fresh new eyes. Parisians (i.e. me) really made me crack up. The shrugs, the eye rolls, the onomatopoeia, the énervement... Stuff straight out of Inspector Clouseau!
I was amazed at the elaborate flower shops at every Parisian corner. Who buys all those flowers I wondered? In Los Angeles or New York you can buy flowers at the grocery store. But how can so many shops survive by selling flowers exclusively? The result is that in Paris you can't forget love and romance even for a minute. Good: I was writing a love story. It put me right in the spirit.
This bistro (above) had just opened for the day when i took this picture. Ten minutes later it would be bustling. There would be delicious cafés au lait on tables, and demie baguettes and butter and jam. But I was off to the next street. I had no itinerary. I went from one shiny thing to another. I got lost on purpose.
To people who say they've always wanted to go to Paris but haven't found the time or the money I say save up, save up. One round trip ticket and a few nights in a cheap hotel and you can experience bliss. Even if it takes you several years to organize, make it a goal, not a dream. And don't wait to deserve it, or for Prince charming to show up in your life, or for your honeymoon, or for a girlfriend to save her money. Go alone, you wouldn't want anyone to spoil your fun!