From France To England (Again)

Well, that’s all for the latest France visit. I no longer know how many times I’ve been in the country. I’ve lost count.

If you have never been there and ever have a chance for a trip, don’t hesitate. I would suggest, yes, see Paris, but also make sure you get away from there and find a part of the country that is NOT Paris. And, above all, if you are American, don’t worry: trust me: the French do NOT hate Americans!

By coincidence, returning to Geneva airport on Saturday we ended up with the same woman driver who had taken us to the airport last year. And she remembered us. We had a great chat once again over the hour and a half between La Clusaz and the airport.

And she will never know that our chat in February 2016 helped break “writer’s block” I’d had. It prompted me to realize how I could “narrate” Conventions and “organize” the tale. After that “epiphany” – three ordinary people essentially discussing and comparing their countries – I was able to take the largely formless mess of disjointed late 1700s ideas then bouncing around in my head and incoherently filling pages and begin to pull them together.

Afterwards this past Saturday, our flight took us over London on our return leg to romantic and adored London Luton Airport.

I am now in north London for a couple of days, helping out the in-laws (mostly with dog walking) while the Mrs. is in Scotland on airline business.

Oh, yes, and the great beard experiment of 2017 continues…

While I’m here, of course I’ll keep working to finish Conventions. This novel has turned into such a mammoth undertaking. To be honest, if I’d known fifteen months ago what it would have required, I might well never have tried writing it.

But I’m now THRILLED I tackled it. It is finished save for “typo-checking” and any as of yet still somehow “missed sloppiness” in the writing. The Mrs. has taken a copy to Scotland for in-flight and hotel reading – which has become a ritual whenever I’ve nearly finished a book: she reads it. I don’t expect “objectivity” from her, but only confirmation that I have NOT totally embarrassed myself.

Recently I had also seen a writer post on Instagram decrying how she could NOT get her family and friends to read her books. Actually, in some ways I’d prefer if those closest to me did not want to read my books. In terms of “freedom” in your writing, those closest to you are apt to draw inferences, conclusions, ask questions about the content, and NOT see it artistically in the ways that “general readers” do. It’s a creative hassle that you don’t really need. I want to write the best books I can, and not fret over what family and close friends may think of them.

Have a good day, wherever you are in the world! 🙂

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Author: “Conventions: The Garden At Paris,” “Passports,” “Frontiers,” and “Distances.” British Airways frequent flier. Lover of the Catskill Mountains...and the 1700s. New novel of 1797-1805, "Tomorrow The Grace," due out in 2019.