I can always rely on my friend and wordsmith extraordinaire, Claire McAlpine, to share the most important literary news on her fine blog. The Man Booker Prize Longlist is out! How many of these titles have you read?
Is your TBR pile in danger of toppling, like mine? Thank goodness we have the choice of creating our literary towers in the virtual world now. Book reviewer extraordinaire, Claire McAlpine, has just posted the long list for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013. I’ve only managed to read a few of these titles so have already added others to my tower.
Which titles have you read or added? Are you prepared to predict a winner at this point?
And may I just say, I look forward to seeing names from our great community of indie authors gracing this list in the near future!
If it’s Friday, it must be France …
May 1st is celebrated in many different ways around the world. France has a particularly sweet custom and my friend, book reviewer and blogger Claire McAlpine, wrote a lovely post about that very topic. I’m happy to share it with you today.
Au mois de mai, fais ce qu’il te plait.
In the month of May do what your heart fancies.
So today I feel like sharing a little bit of French culture with you, the 1st of May is a public holiday in France for the Fête du Travail and the day you will find people offering Le Muguet (Lily of the Valley) to their friends, neighbours and acquaintances, a tradition that began during the Renaissance in 1561, when Charles IX offered them to his subjects as a symbol of porte-bonheur or good luck.
Now associated with the Fête du Travail on 1 May, anyone can sell the flower on the street without requiring a licence or permission. Today I walked into the centre-ville and came across many people who are spending their day, sharing the magic of Le Muguet with the public.
The first year I came to live in France, I learned of the tradition when my next door neighbour knocked on the door and presented me with this delightful flower, explaining its significance.
Six months into adapting to this life, language and culture, it was a welcome gesture and reminded me how important it is to reach out to others, even if they appear to be coping, we can all do with a little ‘porte-bonheur’ from time to time.
Claire was a special guest on my blog a few weeks ago. If you haven’t had time to visit her wonderful Word By Word blog, I hope you find the time soon. You’ll be glad you did!
Isn’t that a lovely custom? Lily Of The Valley is one of my favourite flowers and something I eagerly anticipated discovering in bloom in my garden when I lived in the country. I would pick a sizeable bouquet and deeply inhale the intoxicating perfume. It was such a harbinger of spring!
This year I spent May 1st, like every other day right now (except for Tuesday when I golfed – YES! I took a day off and it was heaven!) at the computer madly attempting to get closer to the end of my WIP … I’m SO close I can almost touch it. How did you spend the day? Does your community celebrate in any special way?
If it’s Friday, it must be France …
Last Friday we spent some time in beautiful Aix-En-Provence. Today I want to introduce you to a young writer and reviewer living there. I’ve been following her blog, Word By Word, for a while now and I’m sure you are going to want to add it to your list too!
Claire McAlpine writes book reviews that are a pleasure to read as much for her own literary style as for the book. She has a fine way with words … truly magnifique!
In her own words – About Me. I am originally from New Zealand, leaving when I was 26 to travel the world, basing myself in London, England. I met my husband in Aix en Provence on my way from London to a small fishing village in Italy (where my first novel is set) and when my daughter was born we went to NZ for a few years before deciding to live in France.
Despite a career in Marketing, I’ve always had other passions and desired a lifestyle that could include them. I studied Aromatherapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine in London which I now practice as well as teaching english as a second language to adults. I also write a monthly travel guide on the city of Marseille. I love to write fiction and continue practicing and I adore reading.
Word by Word (http://clairemca.wordpress.com) is part of my journey and where currently my reading and writing meet not just each other but that wonderful community of others like us out there.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the French government was removing the term “mademoiselle” from all of the official forms and documents. Around the same time, Claire wrote a super-interesting post about the French language. Click here to read what she had to say.
- I am an Aquarian.
- The 1600-acre hill country sheep farm where I spent my childhood was one of the Middle Earth locations in the film ‘Lord of the Rings’.
- I once worked on the 104 foot (30m) tall ship ‘The Golden Plover”. I was employed as a hydro ceramic engineer (dishwasher), except when the Captain or 1stmate shouted “all hands on deck”.
- I have visited more than 30 countries.
- I was a bridesmaid at a traditional African wedding in Lagos, Nigeria.
- I am married to a man who was born in a manger refugee camp in Bethlehem whose name starts with J.
- I like to read Buddhist philosophy.