Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bloomin' in a bloomin' village

I was made for French village life. Just sayin'. The market is every Wednesday morning, reaching out across the city hall square to the large parking lot, down little streets like sprawling morning glory vines. Last week, my basket (for one must have a market basket) contained salmon, eggs, strawberries (they have multiple harvests in France), fresh wheat and rye bread, nectarines and some red and pink verveine-like flowers to plant in my window boxes.  This week, I could have bought a live rabbit, leeks, a roasted duck, sheep and goat cheese laced with Espelette pimento, cooked beets, a quilt, local wines, pastries....the list s really unending. I could happily spend euros left and right!

There are other charms to our town that I have yet to sample, such as the open air movie on Wednesday nights. I have just started getting to know the little old lady who lives along our alley, with her large empty garden of only a few herbs and tomatoes and her rolling country Rs.

When we moved here, my husband's collegues said, "Montpon? You'll die of boredom!" It is a very small town, with most of the people working at the same company as my hubby. You can walk down the street and see just a handful of people. I can stay inside for days and see no one. There isn't fabulous architecture, I don't think there's a museum, and the park is a big expanse of grass with a swimming hole, fishing pond and play equipment boasting one slide and one swing.

So how much of this charm is my perception, how much of it is true?

To answer this, is one of my favorite favorite books, Bloomability by Sharon Creech. It's about a young girl forced by her family's circumstances to live with her aunt and uncle at an international school in Switzerland. Among her multicultural friends, she learns about blooming where you are planted i.e. bloomability. As always with Sharon, it is an inside look at a young girl's thought process, reminding adults how it was and engaging its younger readers with her understanding of them.

This does have a touch of real life writing, as it is inspired by the American School in Switzerland, where Sharon taught English. She loved it there and wanted to remember it always, so she wrote this book with fictional characters and story. Even the cover is full of real life! It's taken from pictures of her daughter, younger brother, view from their house in Switzerland and more.

Where are you planted? Do you like it? Can you still bloom there? Do you have a place you love that you want to write about?


  1. Nice. Did I tell you my next book is set in 17th century France? :)

  2. Neat! Where? Let me know if you need any research - names, places, pictures,