• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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I’ve Got An ANswer I’m Going To Fly Away

Sans plus adieu, un billet de blog de la perche de la publication de la bien-aimée et séduisante Vivian Swift…

The Seven Things I Wonder About as the Author of a New Book (Le Road Trip, Bloomsbury, published yesterday):

  1. Why was writing my second book no easier than writing my first one?
  2. Why am I wasting my time not writing porn?
  3. How can I incorporate a Christian love story, a sharpshooting teenage archer, diet tips, controversial parenting advice, and a slutty backwoods hike in my next book to ensure I get on the Amazon 100 list?
  4. Isn’t there any other way I can feel validated as a creative, intelligent, fully alive life form on Earth other than having to write for chrissake?
  5. This book about France that I wrote, a quirky chronicle of the art of travel filled with cultural, historical and literary references with delightful watercolors and  hilarious survival tips and ruminations on subjects as varied as Parisian boulangeries, snazzy Breton couture, and lettuce (not to mention a highly idiosyncratic A-to-Z on vagabonding in the Bordeaux region), it’s going to be a new classic on the subject, right? Right?
  6. “A moveable feast”…isn’t that just a dopey way of saying “picnic”?
  7. Seriously. How hard is it to get a job writing porn?

Anything to add to the list?

45 Responses

  1. #7: It’s REALLY hard.

    (that’s what she said.)


  2. 1. I should hope it was harder.

  3. First of all, of course it’s going to be a new classic of its kind.

    Second, you clearly aren’t wasting your time, but porn could be an interesting little sideline. And you could write a book about trying to break into the business, which could become a new classic of its kind . . . And would probably hit the Amazon 100 like whoa.

    Just a thought . . .

  4. Word is that one of your most ardent admirers has been begging you to write an erotic travel novel, completely with pornographic watercolor illustration.

    Watercolor porn. If all else failed, you could sell it on Etsy.

    • OMG that’s it. Watercolour porn. Who wouldn’t pay to see that?

    • The Joy of Sex Abroad

      (no way watercolor porn would fail. the original joy of sex sketch drawings in all their 70s-era-non-shaving glory remain forever etched in my mind since sneaking the book at age 8 from the top shelf of my aunt and uncle’s bookcase.)

    • brilliant. anne rice had to do it to give us Lestat, Lestat ended up giving us Jesus. ya never know where these things are gonna lead….

    • August, are you volunteering? As the artist’s model? You know I’m too dumb to make stuff up (that’s why I don’t write fiction).

  5. How ’bout Christian porn? You could write 50 Shades of White. As long as all sex takes place after a duly-sanctified wedding and nobody uses birth control, you’re golden.

  6. #4. Yes, probably. But please don’t!

  7. Hey Vivian, that was a really great video below. Enjoyed it and congrats on the book!

    • BTW, Vivian, I would think French porn would be the way to go. (I’m sure you know it’s pronounced “Oh-la-la” – not “ooo-la-la,” as is the American misconception.)

      • I still have a hard time understanding the French sense of humor. (BTW, they seem to think that any joke with a Belgian in it is hilarious.) I’m not about to tackle French porn. Maybe the American idea of French porn, but I think the culture has moved past that. Isn’t it all about our Chinese overlords these days?

  8. 1. Loved the video.
    2. Ordered 3 copies this morning.
    3. I’m all for Christian watercolor porn!! Imagine all the places your book could be stocked in a bookstore.


  9. #5 Mais oui, absolument!
    #6 YES! Stupidest yet stickiest phrase re: France
    #7 Ask Averil

    • FYI: Bobbi’s book, Finding Me In France, although a 100% Canadian…sorry: Newfie product… is easily available at regular old Amazon .com. Yes, you don’t have to navigate all the way to Amazon.ca, Jeff Bezo’s “Canadian” office, but if you’re in the mood for a foreign adventure go ahead and do it the Canadian way and no one here will judge you.

    • Averil doesn’t write porn. Averil writes erotica.

  10. This book looks so exquisite. Is number 1 really true?

  11. I think we criticize porn because none of us can do it and those of us that do do it (my kids love it when I say that) aren’t very good at it. It takes a special kind of writer to go there.

    Congrats, again, Vivian. Time to celebrate!

  12. Vivian, I ordered a copy yesterday. Let’s meet in Paris so you can sign it.

    Now, I’m trying to decide between the life of the party and the brooding aristocrat….

  13. “Christian love story.” Now, there’s a turnoff.

    I just ordered a book called The French Cat, not so much for the cats as for the crumbling chalets and winding cobbled streets they were photographed being adorable on. Olde worlde architecture porn, oh yeah!

  14. Years ago someone told me that French men believe that the perfect size of a woman’s breast is that which fits into a champagne glass.
    (I would have filled a 1 quart Pyrex bowl).
    Anyway, overflow notwithstanding, our tastes regarding the shape of champagne glasses has changed over the years; the stemmed flat open glass of the past is no longer the norm. So my question is, as French men age do they still go along with the whole champagne glass idea because if they do the shape most popular is the flute. Eeww !

    My observations…as American men age, Pyrex bowls, to milkshakes in a baggie, can still be a turn on.

    Hey, did I just write senior porn?

    • That whole champagne glass thing was started by pseudo-suave Americans who drank champers out of those nasty shallow wedding-toast glasses in the ’60s — god I miss them. The jet set, I mean, and the ’60s, which I was too young to swing in.

      Boobs are not a French thing. I’ve slept around in France and married a French guy. Is all I’m saying.

  15. i kinda think Vivian’s book is porn, no? ruminations on lettuce is code for vagina and comparing boulangeries by the size of their baguettes? that’s penis talk.

  16. Nothing to add, but I’d like to respond to a couple:
    1. I’m curious — did you find it easier to sit down and write and illustrate “Le Road Trip” or was it easier because you knew how to navigate the publishing waters?
    4. Yes, but please keep writing and painting.

    • No! It wasn’t easy to write the second book at all! Which was very disappointing since I’d counted on slacking off around the third or fourth book and coast on my reputation as a quirky writer with a cult-ish fan base.

      It’s like what Steve Martin said about his first trip to France: Those damn French! It’s like they have a different word for everything!

      These damn books have to be written one damn word at a time and that does not seem to get easier with practice because the more you write, the higher you set the bar for youself. Bummer.

  17. Wait! Didn’t you write a book about French wine? Isn’t THAT porn?

  18. I came, I poured (a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe 2005 if you must know), I tried to keep up with the repartee. I’m outclassed here.

  19. Merci Buckets for all these bon mots. If/When we all get together for Betsy’s next Blog-o-versary — FOUR years as of December 11, 2012 — I owe you all a round of drinks.

  20. I almost NEVER purchase books. I know that might sound terrible to this crowd, but I am a serious library addict and also have a serious dislike of accumulating things. (also, my library is great for purchasing many of the titles I suggest. Which is how I read Vivian’s other book).

    But I had to have my own copy of this book and so it was waiting for me tonight when I got home from work. Hooray! I want to devour it all at once but also savor it over as many days as possible.

  21. Christ, Vivian, if #2 is harder than #1, I’m sunk.

    My copy is winging its way to New Hampshire, and I can’t wait to spill some good French red on its pages.

  22. I’m judging this book by its cover (and its author). Looks like a winner all around. Congrats.

  23. 8. Will you use your influence to help me get my first book published?

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