Preserving the Soul


Hi everyone!

I have been trying to commit to monthly blogging, and I just realized it’s been a month. Thing is, this is kind of a non-post. For those of you who like the “old school” alien parisienne posts, this will be up your alley, though.

I’ve been so busy of late! I’ve had a special assignment this past week, playing Karin Poppins to two wee ones, whose mother happens to be this person. Some of her besties are in town, and she’s needed someone to mind the fort while she goes out and has a final hurrah in the City of Light before she heads back to the City of Flowers or the City of Goodwill, depending on if you would rather go with the 1942 Resolution or the 1990 one (see here).

A total aside —

Check it! The Peerless City (yet another motto!) has a song. A few of the lyrics, for you:

Hail to the Peerless City, Metropolis of the west, The gateway to the Orient, Whom grandeur hath caressed!

Her bosom’s gemm’d with pearly lakes, The mountains tower near; The fir tree forest skirts her bound; The beauty of earth is here.


That is, like, a really sexy song. Caressed… bosom… forest skirts her bound… Yeesh. For 1909, that is some pretty racy stuff. Go Seattle!

So yeah, that’s one of the things that has been going on.

I am also gearing up for…


NaNoWriMo 2011 looms. A week from tomorrow, it is time to WRITE once more. This is the fourth year I will participate. In 2008, I wrote fiction, but did not complete the 50K-minimum word count (by a long shot). In 2009, I wrote here, on this blog, just over 60K words. Last year, in 2010, I wrote something like 62 or 63K words of fiction, with a fictional character doing fictional things (it was a total chick lit-esque POS — look under “Linguistics”– with a few interesting bits), but it was mostly just a good beginning and then lots, and lots, and lots of middle because I was writing by the seat of my pants, and had not really given consideration to a little, tiny thing called PLOT.

This year, the goal is to follow a plot outline, which I am already hashing out, based on what I learned last year and on what sources I found on the Internet addressing this pesky aspect of fiction-writing. This year, I’m going to focus on the Young Adult novel I started in August 2010 before life got crazy with child-minding (not my own, but another Angel of a kiddo), housecleaning (professionally, for said child’s parents) and other general life stuff. Plus, I just got kind of stuck with it, because of that PLOT thing I mentioned earlier.

Other than this stuff, married life is still fine, I have received wonderful greetings, gifts and good wishes from so many people, including from a special reader now living in Paraguay, who sent me something called a “güampa” and a “bombilla” for making something called “tereré.” I was really humbled by her gesture! Here I am, this chick living in Paris whom she’s never met, and she goes and does something really touching like this. For all the crappy stuff that can happen online or as a result of people abusing the Internet, I have to say that I have had very good luck in meeting and sharing with the greatest of people. And as my best Greek friend, who is also the voice of The Greek Report, would do because I have tempted the Fates in proclaiming that good luck, perhaps as an act of hubris, I must now spit three times: PTOU PTOU PTOU. It’s bad to tempt those Fates, you know. I’m not sure how the spitting figures into things, but in the five years I have known her (honestly, only online — we still need to connect F2F), I have learned this is a very important thing to do. Check out the Greek Reporter’s blog up there, please. She’s writing about what is really going in Greece right now, from an insider’s point-of-view. I am really interested in what she has to say. The reality for Greek people is becoming very — what’s a good word here? Dire. Yup, I think that “dire” is where this is headed, and it makes me nervous and sad. But the Greek Reporter really has a way with words, and yes, English is her second language, which you will not believe when you read her stuff. Her English is better than mine, no kidding. She amazes me.

I think that’s it for now. This is really “off the cuff” stuff — I pretty much just sat here and typed for the past, I dunno, forty-five minutes or so. I made the picture up there for a Tumblr post earlier tonight, and next thing you know, I am on my Posterous account to be able to cross-post there with my main WordPress blog. I’m on Google+, too — have been since July. I do like my social media outlets, I do.

My goal is to complete NaNoWriMo in November, so if need be, I will not post again here until it is finished on November 30. But certainly you can find me on Facebook (see the sidebar) and Twitter (ditto) as well as those other places I mentioned above. Feel free to add me at those places. I’m sure I will post updates about the writing and other things as they happen.

Happy Halloween to you, Happy Thanksgiving (US), Happy whatever else happens in November…

True love and art shall flourish here, The heart’s sweet, tender theme, Upholders of the truth here dwell, The dreamers of the Dream.

(More from the delightful Seattle Official Song, “Seattle the Peerless City.”)

Over and out,

Paris Karin

(an alien parisienne)

Categories: NaNoWriMo, Personal Life, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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24 thoughts on “Preserving the Soul

  1. Karin

    I would give my left one to be the babysitter for American Mom in Paris!

    Have you checked out the underwear people across the courtyard yet?

    Silly me, what a question! Of course you have!

    All the best


    P.S. Best of luck with NaNoWriMo – I’d avoid YA if you are starting to get fixated on the underwear people?

    P.P.S. Is Lucien is drawing lots of dinosaur bones? Are you encouraging him? Silly question.,…

    • Keith, we need you with your pinky fingers to keep typing up your wonderful reviews, so no babysitter envy, please, lol. And no! I have not seen the underwear people! Not that I have not looked across the courtyard, as I have. Right now, it does not look like anyone is living there, but maybe that’s just because I am there during the mid-day hours. I’m guessing they only come out either early in the morning, or late at night: peak hours for underwear watching, you know. As a city voyeur a/k/a amateur anthropologist, it is important to observe the cycles of the natives in their habitats.

      In any case, I don’t think fixation on the underwear people is going to happen, but you never know. And have you not ever heard of the children’s books about Captain Underpants??? A CHILDREN’S series. So I don’t think fixation on the underwear people precludes writing for YA or even Kid Lit. Just sayin’. 😉

      Lucien is coloring all of the dinosaur printables I can muster. In fact, I have to go find and print some more, STAT, as I am due there tomorrow bright and early for more dinosaur highjinks. If I am lucky, maybe I will get some dinosaur bones, too. Ha. :o)

      Thank you for checking in, Keith! It’s always lovely when you visit the bloghood over this way. 🙂


  2. Hey Karin..long time no type…I was wondering who’d be looking after the Looce and Mme Cokes while MJ was having fun with her BFF’S…should have thought of you…fabulous…hope they didn’t wear you out!

    Hard to think of MJ not being there….so I won’t .

    Glad married life is treating you well…all is well on this side of the has a way of just slogging ahead…love , love that picture at the top of today’s post… favourite view….

    good luck with the writing…love to all….Deb.

    • Hi Deb!! Indeed, it’s been awhile since we have seen one another around the bloghood! So nice to have you stop by.

      Of course they are wearing me out, lol! But I keep going back for more. I am made of pretty stern stuff, haha!, but honest, I am having fun with them. They are cool kids. Lucien is a firecracker, as we all know from his momma, but he is intelligent, observant, curious, and I appreciate his Lucien-ness a lot. And Ms Cokes, well she cracks me up with her adorable smile. And her fixation on the show “Barbarapapa.”

      Re: Life slogging. LOL! Indeed it does have a way of doing that. Admittedly, the views in Paris help with keeping one’s soul preserved in the slog, but a slog is a slog is a slog, whether one is in Paris or Paraguay, Pittsburgh or St Petersburg, IMHO. Lately, episodes of The Guild are helping me slog along. Along with views like the above, which don’t appear in the edges of the ghetto where I am, so I am extra-appreciative of them, too.

      Love back atcha, Deb, and thanks again for stopping by!

  3. It’s so wonderful that you dedicate yourself to this project every year – I don’t think I have the wherewithal to sit long enough to produce that many words a day but you’ve proven that it’s your forte! Please update us on your progress through the month!

    • Hi Lindsey!

      It’s not easy to do the whole NaNo thing, for sure, but I have found with each successive year, I learn something that pushes me just a little further along that path of novel producing! I still don’t know what is going to come of it: I have also learned that I am surprised by what is revealed each year. And yeah, lol, word production is not exactly a problem for me. But focus and revision are, haha! Anyway, I hope this year will yield some good results. Thank you for the encouragement! I will update with progress at all of those places listed, and perhaps even here, too. Especially if I am frustrated, lol.

      Take care, and thank you for reading. 🙂

  4. Love the quote! Good luck on NaNoWriMo, I certainly don’t have the discipline for it 🙂

    • Hi Amanda! Isn’t that a nice quote? I was trying to see if there was a nice quotation involving Paris in the autumn, just like there is for the springtime. I did not find one, but when I saw this one, I thought, “Perfect.” I’m glad it turned up!

      Thanks for the good wishes on NaNo! Yes, it does take some willpower, willpower I cannot for the life of me seem to muster any other time besides November! :/ I’m really hoping this year pushes me over some kind of threshold where I will be able to find the self-discipline to work hard on a novel during the rest of the year. But at least there is NaNoWriMo. I’m very thankful for at least that.

      Thanks for reading, and take care. 🙂

  5. Wow, this blog was a little short compared to your usual offerings, isn’t it? You’re going to have to be a little longer winded if you hope to complete nano rimo!

    • I know, right?? But it totally fits the stream-of-consciousness that has always served me so well. I hope that the Muse is with me, that Calliope is on my side!

      Thanks for reading, Mr. Paris Karin.
      Mrs. Paris Paul 😉

  6. Ken Robertson

    So, does watching the munchkins involve creating edifying and entertaining activities or following a preset “to-do” schedule or simply keeping an eye out that one doesn’t throw the other in the oven or washing machine?

    The only family that still talks to me lives around Seattle. I passed through it (once comming and once going) and missed the rain it is famous for (and wasn’t able to stay for sights or music. Next time I visit, for sure).

    I’ve been waiting for NNWM, but now that it has come, I am once again too distracted to participate.

    “married life is still fine” = we haven’t killed each other yet. I am a hopeless romantic, but I do think that I’ve been cured in relation to this institution.

    No kidding about Greek Reporter, I thought at first meeting (well, on-line contact) that she was and english speaking ex-pat. It was shocking to me that she’s greek born-and-raised. I am so glad she has chosen to share the situation from the POV of the people because no one seems to be searching that voice out and the reports we get from their media or the EU is so very skewed that one doesn’t even have to be involved to tell.

    Wow, Google reader won’t take Google+. Part of the security or it doesn’t fit the program’s idea of a blog?

    • Hi Ken!

      Re: the first question — it’s a bit of both. I don’t like the idea of kids just sitting and watching TV all day long, and the teacher in me likes to figure out the activities part, but there is some part of it that has to be “keeping an eye” because not even teachers have one-on-one with kids eight hours a day, straight. Only moms do that, hahaha. Poor moms. They work so freakin’ hard, let me tell you.

      As for the NaNo thing, I saw this interesting article on Yahoo News the other day:
      It probably speaks for itself… Yes, I understand that there are sometimes things that *really* mean other things are not possible. But just read the article before you make a final decision, okay? Maybe this year is not your year to do it again, but then perhaps it is, and just means digging deeper. I don’t know: it’s something you’ll have to analyze and decide for yourself. But I am the Queen of Excuses and Procrastination, so I just know how it can go when someone says, “I’m too distracted…” I actually also totally understand what it is to be bona fide “too distracted,” too. Ergo this post, and the fact that I only blog here once per month… I understand, is what I am trying to say. 🙂

      “married life is still fine” = we haven’t killed each other yet

      Heh heh heh heh heh! Okay, you wrote it, I didn’t. 😀 Yeah, well, moving right along……

      Isn’t GkRep the shizz, though? I’m behind on her posts. That’s what I need to finish up this afternoon! Reading her stuff…

      Part of the security or it doesn’t fit the program’s idea of a blog?

      Yeah, I think it is because it is not a blog. It’s more like Facebook, and it’s not like one can add Facebook to GReader, either. Don’t worry, though, pretty much anything I post there gets posted to either Twitter or Facebook. Sometimes I re-share stuff only in G+. I’m not quite sure what I am doing with it yet, but I feel fabulously Geektastic for being there, along with my girl crush, Felicia Day. 🙂

      Have a good one, Ken!

  7. Maria O. Russell

    Your “old school” posts is what got us all hooked in the first place, Madame.

    Love this kind of posts! It lets us peek a little into your wonderful soul!

    • Hi Maria!

      Thank you so much for the encouraging words. And I am so glad to receive the feedback! I’m hoping for 2012 that I can find a way to keep this kind of a spirit for this blog. Gotta get through NaNoWriMo first!! 😀

      Take care,

  8. Wow, go Seattle! Loooove those lyrics! and good luck with NaNoWriMo – or as Mr. Paris Karin calls it, nano rimo – excellent.

    Also love ptou ptou ptou. In ‘Jersey Boys’ (have you seen it? my old state!! JOISEY!!) there is a wonderful/terrifying quote along the lines of ‘this too shall change’ applies to both good times and bad times, so when times are good … well, it won’t last kind of thing. Argh! And I’ve always felt that thing about the gods get jealous or something. So now I know the answer, thanks to you and Greek Reporter. PTOU! PTOU! PTOU!

    Thanks, Mrs. Paris Paul, and look forward to your Nano updates, or return in December, or whatever.

    Cheering you on … xxoo from C and C

    • Hi Carolyn! So nice to see you back here!

      Aren’t those lyrics the best, though? I would love to see “Jersey Boys”! My parents listened to The Four Seasons a bunch when I was little, and I have heard the best things about the musical.

      Indeed — spitting at those gods keeps their wrath at bay, apparently. I’m glad to share the tip. 🙂

      My grandmother used to say “this too shall pass” all the time. It is very true! Life is more like a merry-go-round than I wish it were. Although I also like to think it is a kind of upwardly-mobile spiral. We may pass the same territory, or pass bad circumstances over and over, but then there seems to be upward progress towards… a more preserved soul?? Yeah, I think so. 🙂

      Thank you for being a wonderful cheerleader, Carolyn. Hugs and kisses back to you!

  9. PS I think the quote is actually ‘this too shall pass’ *and* your lead-off photo of the view from Pont Neuf is so beautiful — one of a million reasons I adore Paris. I do! Thank you for taking it and sharing it here.

    your faithful Paris cheerleader xxoo

    • P.S. to you, too — I’m so glad you like the photo! It is one of those views that makes me sigh, for sure. I can’t stay cynical about Paris in light of a view like that… Soul preserving, indeed, eh? 🙂

  10. Did I not comment here? Am I sleepwalking???

  11. That Victor Hugo quotes is one of my favorites, ever. I’m glad you’re doing well, staying busy and enjoying married life, Karin! xo

    • Hi there, Sweet Freak!

      It’s so nice to hear from you! Ahhhh, I really need to check out what you have been up to, too. Right after this, I will do just that. 🙂 It’s a wonderful Victor Hugo quote — I’m glad that I encountered it in my search for a good quote for the picture. I’ve had opportunity since posting this to return to that view (more babysitting…) and I have been thinking of it each time I walk past that spot, now. Linked to that view, it will be.

      Take care of yourself, SF (and I’ll see you in your neck of the bloghood in just a moment…).

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