PARIS AND BACK AGAIN

I don’t normally write about traveling, but at the end of March and beginning of April I had the pleasure of taking my first trip to Europe. I got to spent nine wonderful days in Paris, France. I won’t bore you with all the details and everything I did, but here are some the highlights.

First, I want to say that I felt safer walking the streets of Paris at all hours than I ever have in any US city. Sure I kept a lookout for pick pockets, but that’s not the same.

20170327_200400The Eiffel tower was neat. I had a great view from my hotel room. In the evening, they make it sparkle for a few minutes each hour.

There are enough museums in Paris to keep you busy for weeks, so I had to pick and choose. In college I studied art and architecture, but seeing them in a book or a slide is nothing like standing in the midst of these creations.

The Orsay Museum had some of my favorite painters: Monet, Renoir, and Degas, along with other great impressionist.

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Orangerie Museum built two rooms just for Monet’s last waterlily paintings. Each has four HUGE paintings. He was nearly blind when he made them. While notable, I still like some of his earlier paintings better.

Speaking of Monet, for me a trip to France had to include a visit to his house and gardens in Giverny. 20170401_101611I just may need to get my paints out again.20170401_103253
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Walking through the Louvre I got to see lots of cool sculptures and paintings. The scale of some of them surprised me. Theodore Gericault’s The Raft of the Medusa felt like I could step onto the raft. (16 feet wide x 12 feet tall) If that wasn’t stunning enough, directly opposite it in this narrow hall was Delacroix’s Death of Sardanapalus. (Also 16 feet wide x 12 feet tall)

My photos came out so distorted because there was no room to back up for the picture. BTW, the Mona Lisa is just as dull in person as it is in pictures. Rembrandt’s portraits were much more impressive.

 

 

 

Notre-Dame Cathedral was spectacular and sad at the same time. Most of the paintings are fine, but some are peeling from the walls. Others are so covered with dirt and soot that I didn’t realize the paintings were there until I got right up to the wall. Soot can be removed. Sadly, the peeling sections are probably too far gone to repair.20170328_174614

Sainte Chapelle’s stained glass was stunning but it was the floor tiles that caught my eye. Who knew there were so many wolf/canine motifs?

Want to see something different and a little creepy? Visit the Catacombs. Yes, those are real human bones.20170330_123926

From eating wonderful food, seeing the sites, and sitting on the banks of the Seine working on a story, I had a fantastic time.20170330_171708

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Share Your Writing!

charles french words reading and writing

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Hello to everyone! I want to offer an opportunity for all writers who follow this blog to share information on their books. It can be very difficult to generate publicity for our writing, so I thought this little effort might help.  All books may be mentioned, and there is no restriction on genre. This include poetry and non-fiction.

If this event is successful, I will do this about once a month.  To participate, simply give your name, your book, information about it, and where to purchase it in the comments section. Then please be willing to reblog and/or tweet this post. The more people that see it, the more publicity we can generate for everyone’s books.

I hope this idea is successful, and I hope many people share information on their books!

wp-1476386546701-maledicus 

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book…

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OUT OF DARKNESS

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Even the darkest night

Is only a few steps away

From dawn’s light

And the warmth of the sun

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AIN’T GOOD

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“Look at all them owls in that tree,” said Lowell. His jowls wobbled as he wiped sweat from his face with an already soaked and disgusting orange sleeve.

Harvey wrinkled his nose. The putrid scent blowing down the hill wasn’t much worse than Lowell’s odor. If he didn’t still need the despicable little man, Harvey would have strangled him on sight.

“They’re vultures,” said Harvey. “Owls ain’t up in daytime and don’t flock like that.”

“Well they stink. I don’t wanna go this way.”

“It’s this or rot in prison.”

Lowell continued to whine. “You said you had a way out, a secret way.”

“I do,” said Harvey, as he trudged to the top of the ridge and gazed at the vultures.

Lowell joined him a moment later, gasping from the exertion, eyes closed. It was a full two minutes before Lowell opened his eyes and saw the partially decomposed bodies strewn under the tree. Their telltale orange jumpsuits marked them as prisoners. His meaty hands grasped Harvey’s arm.

“Those are guys who supposedly escaped.” Lowell’s voice rose in pitch. “They’re dead! We’re gonna die!”

“No, Lowell,” said Harvey. “WE ain’t gonna die.”

Dozens of beady black eyes watched as Harvey cut Lowell’s throat and pushed him against the tree. Blood coated the bark, which began to glow.

“Hurting little girls ain’t good, Lowell. Judge went too easy for what you did to my sister.”

Harvey watch Lowell’s eyes widen as the birds descended then stepped through the portal.

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Trump’s Plan to Cut Funding From Meals on Wheels=Scrooge

charles french words reading and writing

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I do not usually deal with anything political on this site, but our times have become so extreme that I cannot pretend that writing and politics are disconnected in any way. Writers must speak our conscience.

Regarding President Trumps’s budget plan to make drastic cuts to Meals on Wheels, I remind everyone of that great writing, which was a morality tale and one of social critique: A Christmas Carol.

The ghost of his dead business partner, Jacob Marley, pays a visit to Ebenezer Scrooge to offer him a chance at redemption:

“But you were always such a good man of business, Jacob,” faultered Scrooge,

who now began to apply this to himself.

“Business!” cried the ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my

business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forebearance,

and benevolence, were, all, my business.” (Dickens 21)

The soul of a society, the spirit…

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Take Back Your Calm

Feeling stressed? This will help.

Izolda Trakhtenberg

Here is a resource for you.

Take Back Your Calm in Just One Minute with this effective meditation. This video utilizes the same breathing techniques used by first responders to remain calm during times of extreme stress.

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Importance of Freedom of the Press

Mr. French has some important things to say about freedom of the press. So did Teddy Roosevelt and George Orwell. Want to know what? Keep reading

charles french words reading and writing

In our current political climate, in which the Press has been attacked as somehow against the people, it is important to remember that a free Press was seen by the founders of the United States of America as a crucial element to keeping the nation free. Other thinkers have argued for the maintenance of the free Press as a necessary aspect of battling tyranny and supporting freedom. The Press is one of the institutions that must be preserved if the nation is to remain a free democracy.

One of the writers whose work most clearly illustrated the abuse of power and the effects of the suppression of the Press was George Orwell.

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“Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all,
means the freedom to criticize and oppose.”

                                                                            George Orwell

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In an example of the use of the free press itself, Teddy Roosevelt said, in an…

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