Wine with Wendy on Wednesday, numéro six

For our March rendez vous, Wendy and I met at a French bistro in Buckhead (in Atlanta).

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Some Atlantans may guess which one from the mural above (inside the restaurant). We had a lovely table near the front, lunch was very tasty, and it was wonderful catching up.

Here are a few things that I either learned, or that we talked about:

  • Wendy has never been to Paris (!) But she’s been to Europe many times – much more than I have.
  • We’d like to go to France together someday – at least, I’d love to go with her.
  • Current events (how could we not); football and other sports; travel destinations, domestic and international; our kids’ college news; and what our kids (of any age) choose (and choose not) to tell us
  • Wendy’s art projects, her approach to them, and her course(s)
  • The fact that she can create a painting (she calls it a “before” – it’s the model, sort of) in an hour! (Seen on her facebook page)
  • My inability to multitask on book projects right now, as I wait to view images to consider for my next novel (soon to be published), and try to craft the storyline and characters for my next one, which I’ve begun writing (I’m on Chapter 3)

It’s so much fun to talk about our creative endeavors, and Wendy continues to amaze me with hers. We agreed that it takes discipline for each of us to do what we do: If we don’t sit (or stand) in front of the canvas (or other surface, I’m guessing) or in my case, the computer, and work at it, it simply won’t get done.

No matter what else is going on!

 

Wine with Wendy on Wednesday, numéro cinq

This month, Wendy and I met for lunch at another Atlanta French restaurant.

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We ordered our wine immediately, but we took a few minutes to order our food. The restaurant is a favorite – I’ve been to parties there – and the salmon salad I had was delicious.

We talked about travels (past and upcoming), schedules (she has a busy one!), movies we’ve seen, and books we’ve read. And, movies we’ve seen based on books – some that we’ve read – and whether we felt they were well adapted to the big screen. I described what’s going on with my books, and revealed the (new) title for my next novel, which is coming out soon.

It’s NOT A Zero-Sum Game, after all. I’ve chosen a shorter, catchier title that fits the story much better. Wendy said she thought it was awesome!

Which made me feel even more convinced that I’ve made the right decision.

Here’s a hint: It’s two words, and describes the main character. I can’t wait to see how it looks on the cover. Who knows, I may have the book in my hands the next time Wendy and I meet (in March) for déjeuner!

 

Pizza and… the SUPER BOWL!

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Chicken
  • Bacon
  • Ham

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That’s right – no movie this weekend! 😦

We planned to go see The Revenant, and we still do. But since the showtime at our favorite theater was a bit early, we decided to relax and enjoy our “meat-lovers” pizza instead.*  We won’t be eating pizza this evening while watching the Panthers and the Broncos (Carolina vs. Denver, in Super Bowl L – “50”). But since tomorrow is my husband’s birthday, we’ll have sandwiches, chips, and cake.

I can’t wait to watch the game (and the commercials!), and no matter who wins, I hope it’s a good one. In honor of it, here’s an (amusing) short excerpt of an article about it that we discussed in my French conversation class this week. I’ll quote this (simple) explanation of the game in French, and then give you the English translation, even though you can probably figure it out, with so many vrais amis (similar words). Words in parentheses are included for extra clarification:

“Sur un terrain de près de 91 mètres sur 49, deux équipes de 11 joueurs se disputent et galopent derrière un ballon ovale. Celui-ci est flanqué d’un lacet de fermeture, qui permet aux joueurs de lui donner un mouvement rotatif indispensable pour stabiliser sa trajectoire…”

“On a field of about 91 by 49 meters [100 by 53 yards], 2 teams of 11 players battle (contend, argue, dispute) and gallop (dash) behind an oval ball. The ball is locked/held together by a (shoe)lace, which permits the players to give it an indispensable rotating (rotary) movement, to stabilize its flight path (trajectory)…”

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*Meat-lover’s, since Lent begins on Wednesday. So, for the next 6 weeks, we’ll be eating vegetarian pizzas on Fridays.

 

 

My trip to France – the REAL story

[If you follow my blog, or any of my social media, you know that] I went to the South of France over the holidays. About a month ago, I was just recovering from jet lag, and about to begin a week of adventure over there, with my husband and our youngest, aka Mademoiselle.*

Once back in the U.S. (but being in love with France, and all things French), I was ecstatic to tell anyone who asked (and would listen) where we went (Montpellier, Avignon, and Lyon), what we did, where we stayed, etc. etc.

I could talk for hours a long, long time about our vacation, but, not wanting me to go on and on elaborate/tell stories about it, what most people were satisfied to hear was: “We had a great time!”

And we did.

But before the trip completely in any way fades from my memory, I’ve decided to describe some of our special memorable moments and events.

  • when, the first evening, we three walked down streets decorated with Christmas lights, and had dinner at a lovely restaurant, Le Petit Jardin, that was closing for the holidays the following day;
  • when, the next evening, the three of us dined at Les Jardins des Sens, in the hotel of the same name, and it was fantastic;
  • when we wandered through the town that weekend and had coffee and tea at Mademoiselle’s favorite cafés, where she had gone to study and hang out during the semester;
  • when I marveled at how Montpellier had changed (and how it hadn’t) since I was there a long time ago on my year abroad, and, when I had moments of déjà vu (except that I HAD already vu‘d), as we explored the city, and wandered around;
  • when Mademoiselle didn’t mind  minded  began not to mind again, that I was speaking French to whoever I could, and I did decently  fine  pretty darn well, practicing my French and communicating with tout le monde, in their native language;
  • when we wandered around, window-shopping, and going to museums and movies when almost everything was closed on Sundays;
  • when, after staying at good-to-great hotels in Montpellier and Avignon, my husband and I checked into a fabulous 5-star hotel near our friends’ home in Lyon (Mademoiselle stayed with them) for a few days, near the end of our trip (and we want to stay there again, someday);
  • when our French friends welcomed us into their home for the holidays, took us to church with them, gave us (very French) gifts, and included us in their family festivities;
  • when Mademoiselle suggested visiting Palavas-les-flots (the beach town, 20 minutes away from Montpellier, and where I lived as a student) on a Sunday – but, unable to find transportation, we gave up (although we could have taken a taxi, but didn ‘t think of it). But just knowing that Mademoiselle wanted to go there with me was almost enough;
  • when we ate French cheeses, crêpes, patè, and so much other good food, and drank wine.

So, if you were curious about our trip, but haven’t had time  were too shy  forgot to ask, but woudn’t mind knowing, there you have it.

*See my “Postcards from Europe” posts, in which I share the postcards I received from all over Europe from Mademoiselle last fall during her semester abroad.

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Above: a card we received from our friends after our return home. It’s an image of the Berges du Rhône et Hôtel-Dieu (the banks, or quays and paths, and the hotel on the west bank of the Rhône and the Presque-Isle – peninsula – between the Rhône and the Saône Rivers, which run through Lyon). The Hôtel-Dieu was a hospital for centuries, but is now being converted into a luxury hotel.

The Twelve Days of Christmas, en français – et au disco!

La chanson, “Les douze jours de Noel,” et sa traduction en anglais 

(The song, “The twelve days of Christmas,” and the English translation):

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE DISCO DANCE!

(And https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB8dzktiBm4&app=desktop

for the Youtube version in French!)

 

Cutting right to the chase, with the final verse only: 

Le douzième jour de Noel – On the twelfth day of Christmas

Mon amoureux m’a offert – My true love gave to me,

Douze violoneux* qui giguaient – Twelve Drummers drumming

Onze fifres qui jouaient – Eleven Pipers piping

Dix lords qui sautaient – Ten Lords a-leaping

Neuf dames qui dansaient – Nine Ladies dancing

Huit bonnes qui trayaient – Eight Maids a-milking

Sept cygnes qui nageaient – Seven Swans a-swimming

Six oies qui pondaient – Six Geese a-laying

CINQ ANNEAUX D’OR – FIVE GOLDEN RINGS

Quatre jacasseurs – Four Calling Birds

Trois poulettes – Three French Hens

Deux tourterelles – Two Turtledoves

Et une perdrix dans un poirier! – And a Partridge in a Pear Tree!

 

*ou bien, “musiciens”

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My favorite Christmas card, so far, and from my mother! 

“A Partridge in a Pear Tree”

 

 

 

Postcards from Europe, #14

Mademoiselle went to Paris for 3 consecutive weekends in November: the 6th-8th, the 13th-15th, and the 20th-22nd. This carte postale is from her 1st trip, when she stayed with family friends.

Their daughter Petronille stayed with us as a teenage summer exchange student for 3 weeks one year, and Mademoiselle stayed with them on the same program a year later. That was Mademoiselle’s very first trip to Paris (they live in a suburb, Montrouge), and it was before she had taken any French classes! But ever since, we have always credited Mademoiselle’s fabulous French accent to Petronille and her family.

Merci beaucoup!
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Salut!

I visited Petronille and her famille this weekend and it was charmant! We walked around the 6th arrondissement, went shopping, went to the Monet museum, and got sushi for dinner in Montparnasse with her friends! It was so cool to see them all and be able to speak French with them. Plus I forgot how good their cooking was! Both lunches were the most French things I’ve ever done!

Love,

Mademoiselle

In case this arrives very late, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Love you all and miss you! CONGRATS JACK!!! YOU ROCK! *

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*Mademoiselle’s brother Jack (whose journey with cancer is told in ALL THE ABOVE) had just been offered and had accepted a job in NYC, to start next year!

Postcards from Europe, #1

My daughter (I’ll call her Mademoiselle, but if you’ve read ALL THE ABOVE, you know her name), is a junior in college, and is spending this semester studying in the south of France. She’s living in the same city I did (Montpellier), when I did the same (as a student at the same university*) for a year. Like me, she’s somewhat of a chronicler, and since August, she’s been sending me postcards (cartes postales) via la poste (snail mail).

Just as I’ve been doing with “Pizza and a Movie” posts, and as I’m starting to do with “Wine with Wendy on Wednesdays,” I’m going to do a series of posts sharing her postcards sent from Europe. Notice that she uses the French way for dates (day/month/year):

Voici la première carte postale:

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Bonjour à tous!

Today I visited the Château de Flaugergues, a small summer home built in 1696 by a member of the French Royal Court! Today it has sprawling gardens and the family that lives there makes wine (the rosé is the best) and it’s only 15 minutes away by train! I hope everything is good at home and I love you all!

Love,

Mademoiselle

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Of course, she’s been in touch with me and her father by telephone, text, email, and even the odd photo on snapchat or instagram. But her postcards seem more special, and they kind of link her time in France with mine.

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*The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

List Post, mai 2015 (May)

It’s May! What? How did that happen?!?

  • Must Quote my latest 5 star review of  ALL THE ABOVE: My son’s battle with brain cancer“This book shows what Amazon should be all about – really well-written, personal story with depth and insight. This family is so likable. Very engaging prose, and thankfully, as it is a true account, a happy outcome. Thanks to the author for sharing her work. An absolute privilege to read it. Best of luck.” 
  • Writing WIP now has a TITLE*! and is almost DONE!
  • Counting the responses to join my STREET TEAM! THANKS, Y’ALL! ….Surprises coming….!
  • Hopeful that I will hear back from a local bookstore about a signing coming up on a Saturday afternoon. Will keep you posted.
  • Making plans to join some of my Atlanta Sisters in Crime fellow authors sisters at Fayette County Public Library on July 25!
  • Great to see ratings/reviews on Goodreads of ALL THE ABOVE, and the quote listed below…
  • Very, very happy to receive a handwritten note from AmazonCrossing in Munich, Germany about UNTER WASSER! Warm wishes! Scroll down…
  • Getting book ideas from a new member of my French conversation class, happy to know she had heard of me and my books at her Atlanta country club, and just as happy she wants signed copies of UNDERWATER & ALL THE ABOVE at next week’s class!

* Title to be revealed at a later date…

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Ç’est changé! My new website name!

Autrefois (ou, avant) – before – it was makethatjulie.wordpress.com

Maintenant – now – it’s juliamcdermottbooks.com

(If you type in the old one, you will be redirected automatiquement to the new one.*)

Pourquoi? Parce que it’s sleeker, simpler and more specific…and because, as I explain here, although many people call me Julie, my name is Julia. But if you want, you can make that Julie!

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Another changement? It’s “julia mcdermott” at the top rather than The More Things Change…

But “The more things change, the more they stay the same” **  does seem appropriate! 

* It may take a day or two before it works automatically for some service providers…but it already does for mine.

** Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

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