I’ve decided on my next career– translating French menus

The last time Peter and I were in Paris, we were going to see Véronique Sanson in concert at the Olympia (www.olympiahall.com) (see my blog post from February of 2015)

So, before we went to the concert, we decided to eat across the street at the Capucine Café (www.capucinecafe.com). The food is absolutely wonderful and because it’s right across the street from the Olympia, they are not shocked by people coming in at 6:30 or 7:00 for dinner before the show (for those who have been to Paris, you know that you do NOT even think about going to a restaurant for dinner, normally, before 8:30 at the earliest).

Since Peter doesn’t speak as much French as I do, we got menus in both French and English. And it was amazing to see the things NOT on the English version that were on the French version.

IMG_3391 IMG_3394Here are the two menus and note that on the English one, there are three “Starters” and on the French one, there are four “Entrées” which is the same category. Now why is one left off? And it’s a delicious one too– Duck Tartare with artichoke and pistachio and Beet Carpaccio. Wouldn’t you be intrigued to try that?? In the main courses, you have the same thing. The first one on the French menu is Scallops “à la provençale” with mashed potatoes. Again, sounds delicious so why is it not on the English menu?

I had the “Bar entier” which means a whole European bass which was incredible. It was grilled with Fennel butter and anchovy paste and served with mashed pumpkin with hazelnuts. It was on the English menu, but listed as “whithing” and says it’s cooked with bacon and tomatoes (no evidence of either in the French description or what I was served (see photo below).

IMG_3389So I have decided that this is to be my next job. I need to move to Paris and work with restaurants translating their daily specials. I don’t want any more English speakers missing out on potentially delicious dining experiences!

To help me in the endeavor, since menu vocabulary can be quite specialized, Peter and I went to the bookstore Gibert Jeune, located at the Place St. Michel, and look what we found!

IMG_3523Dictionaries, from French to English and English to French, for restaurant and culinary terms! I’m now all set to start my next life adventure. Anyone want to volunteer as my able assistant and fellow taster???

“Reunion” now available on Kindle!

“Reunion” is now available on Kindle, and it took a little longer than expected, but I’ve also learned something about Kindle and how it works. As many of you know, I self-publish my books on Createspace.com, which is a great website and service through Amazon. It’s pretty user-friendly and if you have a wonderful husband who is willing to do the “cut and pasting” required to put your esteemed prose into the Createspace format, creating a paperback version is REALLY easy (thank you, Peter).

We knew that we did not know how to convert the document to a Kindle version ourselves so we hired Createspace to do that. For $79, it’s a bargain. With the first novel, it went very smoothly. We got notification that the “proof” was ready and we reviewed it, and then hit “approve” and “publish” and Ta Da! We were done.

With “Reunion,” it was not quite as easy. We did the first steps and when the proof came, we assumed it would be another quick approval process, but “Reunion” has an added complication. There are journal entries by one of the characters, which are shown in the hard copy in the font “Lucida Handwriting” to mimic her physical writing. It turns out Kindle doesn’t support Lucida Handwriting, so when they did the conversion, the system randomly chose a very light colored, large typeface that did not give a good reading experience AT ALL.

One possible solution presented by the tech staff at Createspace was to take a picture of the journal entries and do a “cut and paste” into the document. Unfortunately, upon further reflection, we realized that this solution has two major issues. First, it would probably put the “cut and paste” section on a different page, which would create a weird reading experience if there were only a couple of sentences on a page and then it moved you to a new page for the journal entry. The other problem is related to the fact that Kindle allows its readers to change the font size. If there were a “cut and pasted” picture of a journal entry, you would not be able to make that adjustment so again, it would create a disruptive reading experience for the user.

So what was left? After more discussion with the Createspace technical team, we decided to make the journal entries italicized.

It then makes it obvious that there is something different going on, and hopefully still gives the reader the emotional experience that I am striving for; the experience of getting to know that character better through her own writing. Do you think it will work? How did that just feel??

I would love to hear from any of you that do get the Kindle version and what you think of the italics as a solution.

And please, if you do enjoy the story, I would love you to “pass it along” to someone you know (and hopefully someone who doesn’t know me) who might also enjoy it. We are headed into beach season and I like to think this would pair well with a cold Stella Artois or a chilled French Chardonnay. Enjoy!!

1_Front Cover

“Reunion” is now at Amazon!

I am proud to say that my second novel, Reunion, is now available on Amazon in paperback! The Kindle version should be available in about a week.

I really enjoyed working on this story, and applying the lessons I learned the first time around. I hope that those who read it will give me good, honest, feedback. Selfishly, I hope you enjoy it because I had so much fun writing it and want to get started on the next one.

Maybe we will return to the story of Carol from the first book. She’s now divorced, and headed to Paris for a little time on her own to figure out what’s next in her life….

If you’d like to order Reunion from Amazon, click here! ENJOY!

1_Front Cover

 

 

Edits are complete!

I am very happy to report that my edits are now finished for Book #2, “Reunion.” It’s set in Paris and Burgundy and is the story of a 25-year college reunion.

Melanie Russell wants to get her group of girlfriends from their grad school days back together, and she wants it to be a “girls only” trip. She and Gary, her husband, aren’t getting along and she needs some time away to figure out why. Julie is living in London and though she loves her life, she’s lonely for some male companionship. Could she find romance in Paris? Gigi now lives in Italy. She misses the camaraderie the women shared back in Boston. Can she persuade Paolo, her Italian husband, to let her go without him? Angie longs to visit Europe again, and her daughters are now off to college. Can she get over her own insecurities and go on her own? Emily has just retired from teaching and would love a fun trip to start the Fall off right, but she had a big falling out with the rest of the women and they haven’t spoken for twenty years. Can they all be friends again?

And of course, there’s the rest of the group: Sam, and Greg, and Todd, and John, who’ve all come on the trip without their spouses; Roger and Dawn; and Nellie and Bob. And Joelle and Michel, the two professors who are the “hosts.” Twenty-five people in total. An interesting group who will all spend a week together in Paris, with a day and night in Burgundy to learn more about wine-making and wine-tasting.

Who wouldn’t want to go?

Night-Time-Outdoor-Cafe-ParisParis-Historic-Paris-Walk42

 

A Writing Update

I haven’t given any updates here recently on my writing so here goes! I finished the first draft of my second novel (working title is “Reunion”) and sent it off to Nellie, my wonderful editor. She, of course, sent it back with LOTS of changes so I have spent the last month making revisions and am now going to send her Draft #2 to see if she likes the changes. It’s a story about a 25-year college reunion trip set in Paris and Burgundy and centers around five women friends and four men friends who are all on the trip, getting to know each other again, as well as sharing stories of their lives. I hope to have a published version before the end of the year. That will, in part, depend upon whether Nellie and I decide that I should self-publish again, or find an agent this time. Time will tell, but I will write updates more often on that.

This one flowed much more quickly for me (I started it last July), and I think it’s a good story. We’ll see if Nellie agrees!

Quick Book Update

Looks like I’ve sold about 200 books and 16 so far on Kindle. Thanks to ALL of you who have been so supportive on this new adventure– I’m loving it and am working away on Book #2. This one is also set in Paris, the city I love, but this time it’s a 25-year college reunion and it’s five girlfriends reconnecting. With others there from their college days as well, there are opportunities for a variety of reunions, of reminders of past emotions and the establishment of new ones, and it’s great fun already! I’m trying to use the lessons I’ve learned from writing the first book and from my friend and editor, Nellie, so I’m doing some editing as I go, but I’m not fooling myself. It will need her able assistance and great critical eye as well at the appropriate time! Here is a wonderful hotel next to the Place St Michel that is my imagined spot for the reunion! More later!! Back to the grind….

IMG_1310

 

The Kindle Version has arrived!

$4.99 takes it away!! For those of you who would rather read books electronically, the Kindle version has arrived! CreateSpace.com, where I self-published my book, offers to convert your book to Kindle format for $69. I don’t know anything about Kindle and how it’s formatted so it was well worth the money to have them do it for me. The one thing that I think does get hurt by the Kindle version, in the book, is the map. Since it’s on two pages, and Kindle only allows you to see one page at a time, you can only see 1/2 of the map at a time. Oh well. I don’t see any way to fix that?

I was also afraid that Kindle readers would not get the benefit of the beautiful color of the cover, but it looks like the cover IS in color, as long as you have a Kindle that is color as well.  The other interesting thing for a Kindle version is the need for Chapter links. I didn’t do a Table of Contents in the physical paperback because it’s not necessary, but of course, on Kindle, that’s one way to flip around in the story.  So, please give me feedback on the Kindle version if you buy it and ENJOY!cover

Quick update for Kindle Users

The book is now out on Amazon.com, but my husband and I realized that we had no idea how to format for Kindle (I have read on an iPad, but never on a Kindle). So, for $69, CreateSpace will do it for you! We have submitted the story and now it is up to them to do the uploading. I’m very interested to see how it turns out, especially the two-page map at the beginning of the book, since it’s my understanding that you can’t see two pages at the same time on Kindle. You Kindle users will have to tell me what you think.

I will post as soon as I hear that it’s available. So far, CreateSpace has delivered on everything quicker than predicted, so we’ll hope it’s within the next week or so.

Finally, I would ask a favor. If you have ordered Four Sisters In Paris, THANK YOU. If  you like it, please write a review on Amazon.com.

After a week, we are at  87 sold! photo-1

It’s Official- I’m now a published author- YIKES

So I thought I was done on Sunday and ordered a hard copy proof of the book….and saw the various typos that were still there! Then I fixed those and then we found more…. It makes you realize that no matter how many times you look at something (and others look at something) that it’s still easy to miss things.

Today’s version looked good, so I’m taking the plunge and have pushed “approve.” It’s AVAILABLE! It’s at www.createspace.com/3610000 and also at Amazon.com! Now I just have to get the word out!

I would love to get comments/critiques from you and also, if you belong to a book club, would you consider sharing it with them and letting me know what people think?

Thanks!!!photo-1

Manuscript is SO CLOSE!

We received the hard copy proof from CreateSpace today– how cool is that! I did find a couple of small things I want to fix, so we’re headed up to the computer to make the changes, re-download it, and it will then go to Amazon.com! The Kindle version is a little more complicated so that will take a couple more weeks to have available, but it will happen. Watch for the official announcement!

photo-1