Mangeot of the Somewhat Nordlands: Among Les Français, 2018

Lately my traveling alter ego Mangeot of the Nordlands has chronicled expeditions through Norway, Quebec, and now France. Try not to judge him too hard. He means well. 13 April — Tours We arrive among Les Français (meaning “They who put sauces on anything”) at their chief aerodrome of Paris. It is a grand city […]

Behind the Story: “Queen and Country”

Lesson one on writing a spider story: Never write a spider story. Don’t do it. It’s been done. Since mythological times. Spider women. Tangled webs we weave. Innate fears and phobias. The built-in burdens alone will wrap poor writer you in literary silk. See what happens with spider stories? The metaphors have started already. Lesson […]

Behind: “What Settles After the Stars”

One fated French night in 1700 or thereabouts, so the story goes, Dom Pierre Pérignon was stalking his Hautevillers cellar, turning his bottles, and the great monk decided then was as good a time as any to have a taste. And what he tasted went down crisp and bright and bubbly, the first modern champagne. […]

Behind The Short Story: “Aix to Grind”

Yes, I was in Aix-en-Provence, and sure, I was studying a Picasso in a museum’s first room, only a token velvet rope between me and it, and okay, I even thought, “man, this is how many million euro hanging how many steps from the door?” But no, I wasn’t casing the joint. I’m no thief. I am a […]

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