- Last night up in Oregon to see grandson’s musical tripped and fell on gym floor and broke my right shoulder. All night in ED for X-rays and sling. Back to son’s at 4 am then passed out from trauma meds etc and 911 again. But checked out okay by son’s firefighter buddies. Today dealing with pain and not sure how I’ll get back to California. Or how this will affect my planned move in 2 weeks or summer travel to France. But one day at a time. If God led me to it, He’ll lead me thru it. And, yes, it was Friday the 13th!
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Longtime therapist Dr. Charlene “Charlie” Pederson admits that her fixation with college sweetheart Danny Shapiro has reached the unsettling stage of obsession. Jolted by turning fifty and struggling with a condescending husband, Charlie crafts a harebrained scheme to find Danny and recapture his heart. Her delight at reuniting with her old flame soon turns to indignation when he accuses her of stalking him. Danny’s fears about being stalked are well-founded.
Charlie plays on her professional expertise about stalking to worm her way back into Danny’s life…all the while jeopardizing her marriage, tarnishing her reputation, and alienating her best friend. After her darkest secret is revealed, Charlie plunges into unfamiliar depths of pain and mortal danger and must rely on every psychological trick in her book to survive. DEGREES OF OBSESSION will take you on a riveting journey from risky infatuation to personal fulfillment and forgiveness.
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A December day, Nearly Christmas. I was traveling with a friend and her seniors group. The weather casters on the news said it was the coldest December in forty years. Two inches of snow had fallen in Marseille! We had done the Riviera wrapped in layers and with newly purchased hats and scarfs and gloves. The night before we had almost frozen our toes off walking in open toed heels back from the Metro to our hotel near La Defense after seeing the ballet at the Opera Garnier. In the morning, everyone else was still snuggled in bed, but I hadn’t had my Tour Eiffel fix. So I walked there by myself. I was surprised to find no one in the ticket line. Even more surprised to find no wait at the elevators and only a patron or two on the ride up. As I slowly circled the top, identifying each Paris landmark below, I suddenly discovered why I was almost alone. The iconic landmark shuddered under my feet and began to perceptibly sway in the winter gale. I reminded myself of all the years it had stood strong while chicken-heartedly beating a path back to the elevators. Sometimes the only thing you really need to bring back from France is a memory.
To hone my craft and just have fun, I have taken many classes at The Writing Salon, founded in 1999 by Jane Underwood as a school of creative writing for adults (beginners to advanced). The Writing Salon offers small classes held in comfortable, cozy settings complete with fresh-brewed coffee, tea and snacks in both San Francisco and the East Bay (Berkeley). I have taken a variety of classes from their wide selection from fiction writing to screenwriting to poetry. Each class is small enough to ensure intimacy and individual attention. They also offer classes in personal essays, memoir, play writing, travel writing, food writing (chocolate and erotica not to be missed!), publishing and much more!
But certainly the most fun I had was taking a class on how to write a KQED Perspective from Jesse Loesberg who is a regular contributor to the Perspectives series on KQED-FM in San Francisco. Upon completion of the class, I sent my Perspective entitled JUST ONE? to KQED and was invited to come to their radio studio in San Francisco to record it. After many takes, the recording engineer assured me that we had a winner. And within a few days, I turned on my radio in the car on the way to work and felt my heart go into overdrive as they played my piece. Here is the actual recorded version from the KQED audio archives. JUST ONE?
The delightful photo above is from the Goddess of Adventure Blog. The author lists 5 top advantages to dining alone. I agree and have found dining alone in France or Britain or anywhere but America is quite the delightful experience. They really do have tables set for one!
Or play here:
Mommy and the Muffins first destination last summer was La Selle Sur Le Bied, a beautiful rural community 110 km southeast of Paris, where they had a 10 day visit with very dear forever French friends Christian and Chantal, who have chosen this lovely community for their retirement.
My collection of Quimper china comes from the Quimper factory, from Paris flea markets, from eBay, and even matching petite dejeuner platters from my ancestral home in Maine, a gift from my beloved Aunt Midge. I loved seeing the artists at work in the Quimper factory. Amazing how each of their marvelous patterns is created with only single brush strokes.
Adding just the right ambiance to my table setting is the delightful musical petite poupée I bought at my favorite boutique on Île Saint–Louis.
And speaking of La Vie en Rose, here is my daughter’s recording of the Edith Piaf classic which was played to her guests’ delight for the last dance at her wedding (click below to play).
When my daughter and I arrived in the off-season at Le Prieuré, astunning chateau on the Loire river just a few kilometers from Saumur, we were surprised to be offered an upgraded room gratis. Imagine our delight and amazement when we entered this spectacular room swathed in roses and graced with antiques and a huge marble bath, with its French doors opening right onto the rooftop overlooking the river. The breakfast served in the room was exactly as in this photo. My own non-digitalized photos are off in a album buried in my shed. You can see the flat rooftop of the dining room in the center right of this aerial view of the chateau and our French doors that opened onto it.
In the restaurant that evening we decided to splurge and order the Gastronomique menu which at the time (1999) amounted to $200. We started with an amuse bouche in the salon, then moved to our table, where for the next 3 1/2 hours we were treated to course after course, eleven in all, including three appetizers, three full main courses (filet mignon, lobster tail, and duck), and three full-sized desserts, with a palette refresher of grapefruit sorbet in between, plus 5 different wines. When the waiter arrived to ask about coffee, we looked at each other and graciously declined. Not another bite or swallow was going into our bodies. We decided it was the most grand meal we’d ever had (or have had to this day). So even when we discovered to our shock when we paid our bill the next morning that it was $200 EACH, we felt it was well worth it for an unforgettable memory.
Here we are, coming in by ferry from Nice to L’Île-Rousse. One of the perks of traveling with my grown daughter, besides the fact that she is very outgoing and fluent in French, is that we are in complete sync as traveling companions. No squabbling over when to get up or when to go to bed. And with her encouragement, I see many sights that would have passed me by had my “old bones” been making the decisions. Her theory: if we’re here we should see everything! So, armed with our favorite travel book, a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide we set out to see every nook and cranny possible during our scheduled days in Corsica.
Top on the agenda was to see many of the places that serve as locations in my novel MOTHER TONGUE which included Bonifacio, the Citadelle at Corte, the Restonica Valley, and L’Île-Rousse. Even made a few stops to capture roadside graffiti scrawled by FLNC sympathizers.But one of my favorite memories was dinner on the beach at L‘Île–Rousse, the western port where we had arrived by ferry earlier in the day.
Betty Crocker’s Castle Cake took precedence over our family’s usual name-your-crepe celebration as my granddaughter celebrated her 4th birthday. The ad said it’s as easy as building with blocks...not! But the birthday girl and all her guests were delighted with my daughter’s creation. And, of course, Happy Birthday was sung in both English and French. Many of her little friends were from her French for Fun preschool.