The Bistro

The Bistro

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Join us here in The Bistro for a discussion on the entire Gamache series. Feel free to ask or answer any questions about any of the books or the series as a whole.

Discussion on “The Bistro”

Thank you all for all your good wishes. The conference was so wonderful, brought me home filled with enthusiasm for Austen and everything Regency!

Anna, I’m excited to hear that you are working on the next book – wonderful news! I can’t wait to hear about all the characters from The Cove… I think it’s time for a re-read for me.

I felt sorry for Louise, as well, when I thought to myself – how could she possibly know in book one that there would even BE a book 2, let alone that by book 8 or 9, she’d need the village to be completely cut off from the cyber-world? I know you have to think ahead, but that’s crazy!

Barbara, I hope you’re feeling better. If the weather has gotten better, that’s probably helped a lot!

Millie – can’t wait to hear about your trip with your Mother, and all the wonderful things you’ve done and seen!

Julie, your dress is beautiful. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. An opportunity to be with other Austen fans, see everyone’s outfits and get in some sight seeing. Thanks for sharing with us.
Can’t wait to hear of Millie’s adventures. What a special time for Mother and Daughter.
Anna, how are your parents ? My husband and his brother will visit their mother later today.

Oh Julie, I’ve been thinking about you and hoping you had a wonderful time. Love the picture, thanks for posting it! Beautiful from head to toe.

I’m baa-ack! I had the best time – Kentucky is a gorgeous state, the countryside is so beautiful! I took a paddleboat ride down the Ohio river one night, and a drive out to a Shaker village the next day, and was just blown away! Everything was so fun – I saw so many beautiful gowns and hats and gorgeous costumes of all kinds. The speakers were great, and it was all a wonderful time! As promised here’s a pic of me in my gown: https://picasaweb.google.com/116634764800697602903/InstantUpload#6206026334764781234

I was posing with an internet friend that I got to meet – she writes Regency inspired books. She is the pretty young thing in the red gown – that bump in the back of her dress is actually where her train is caught up for ease of movement – very clever! I take terrible pictures, but the dress is shown to good effect. It was a lovely evening! I’ll have more pics to post soon – but I had promised so many people that I’d send out a picture of the gown, that I figured I’d better get it up fast.

Hope the Jane Austen event went really well Julie. I saw your comment about the mobiles in Stiil Life. That had passed me by. I feel a little sorry for LP. It can’t be easy keeping track of the multitude of details across the whole series. I am finding that difficult having written just one and a draft!

How are you Barbara? I hope the sun is shining.

Cathryne, are you ok??

Thinking of everyone as the year tumbles to a close. I can’t believe how fast time is traveling!

Dear Barbara, we have seen video of the floods which are really dreadful. Once the water does recede then the damage is revealed. Good to so many people chipping in to help.
Erin loved her trip and is excited by the challenges of school. We are trying to make the next 12 months more fun and less stress but that is not easy. The HSC is a stressful time, it started yesterday for this years class. I still have nightmares about mine!

The rain has stopped for the most part. Many locals went to help in South Carolina. The cleanup will mean hard work. So many small pond dams failed. There have been reports for years on the need for repairs to them. Most schools have reopened today. Summerville, SC, one of my favorite small towns, had streets and curbing wash away.
3,ooo words a day. You have been using this time very well. Inspiration and opportunity together.
Imagine a cottage for writing. I have often thought how wonderful it would be to have a retreat. Mine would be for reading and enjoying being alone with my thoughts. For me, alone means with my dog(s) and cat. I would also need a kitchenette for snacks, coffee and tea. I even drew plans for one once ( just an amateur sketching ).
I hope Erin enjoyed her travels….so enriching.
Louise has not only given us wonderful novels but inspired us in our daily lives. I am so thankful for her example
Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian friends.

I hope everyone is ok where ever they are. It is a clear sunny day through my window as spring paints the world vibrant green.
I read your comments over at the Reading group guide Barbara. I will give it all some more thought but I am a bit immersed in my draft at the moment.
I want to finish it before a return to the school run and teen diversions next week. I have seen the last four weeks without such things as my gift of time to write and set myself the task of 3000 words a day…you have to have a goal. I am close to achieving that which is down to Louise and her inspiration and the support I have had from family. I can’t tell you how many cups of tea I have required to keep going. Kudos to hubby this weekend.
Has the rain stopped in the South Barbara? Friends in BC are telling me that it is warm and wet there….not what I wanted to hear. Roll on snow.

I have writer’s cottage envy! When I get to a difficult part in my novel, or when I just thing it is a load of codswallop, I go and find a Louise Penny video to watch. She is so sensible and generous with her discussion of the process. Then I saw this, a video in which she shows her writing space. I want…snow and all.


Yep, the characters of The Cove are being heard again. What amazing compliments you pay me Barbara. Comparing me to LP is high praise indeed!!! I thank you for the warm glow it gives. She is a wonderful role model, although I can well imagine Louise laughing madly at the thought.

Definitely not writing the great anything novel, just transcribing a story the characters wish to tell. It is very interesting the directions they are taking. New locations and new characters, as well as new insights into some familiar ones. Bit of mystery to boot.

Working hard to get the first draft done so I can start shaping the mud I am throwing onto the wheel.

Have a great time Julie. Looking forward to the photos!

Glad the sun is shining for you Barbara. We have the opposite. After several very hot days we are back to cold and drizzle. I don’t mind. I see it as an excuse to be cosy and finish writing my book. Getting close. Louise posted a link to an interview she did on cbc radio. It was a very timely reminder of things she has said before but helpful for me to rehear. Writing is for me and that I shouldn’t be trying to write the greatest novel in the world or I will never finish it.

Anna, How exciting ! Your second novel. Further adventures of the characters in the Cove ? I’m happy for you . You are a well rounded person, quite intelligent, loving and caring to your family and others and now using your talents to write. You remind me of LP in many ways. One day, we may be a part of your discussion group.
Love the comment about the greatest novel. A local author told me she had to realize she wasn’t trying to write the Great American Novel just her book. She had a problem trying to get it perfect.
Write away. Looking forward to reading it.

I’m off first thing in the morning for my Jane Austen event so I won’t be posting until I come back – which isn’t til next Tuesday night! I picked up my dress this afternoon, and it’s just perfect – wait until you see pictures! I will be posting an album of my adventures so all my friends can see, so will send a link when that’s up. Fun! Til then, stay safe, away from the mad weather and cozy in the Bistro…

Thanks for the link. I have an appt. with the ophthalmologist Thurs. and will ask about the light box and my eyes. Later this month I’ll see the Internist and discuss it. I had known about but let it go. I do things like that.
Today was beautiful. The sun was bright all day. Yipee !

Julie, I only just read your post on Roseburg. I am sorry it has affected you so closely but yes I can well understand how frustrating it must be. It is a curious form of government when the Preisdent is so hamstrung by Congress that he can’t make changes that he wants to and would be sorely needed. I feel fortunate that our government was able to come together on the issue and make a difference when we had the tragedy at Port Arthur. It can be done but the structure of your government, the interpretation of the Constitution, and the NRA mean it will have to come from the people not from the President. I think he would enact a law tomorrow if he could. The fact that he can’t is frustrating indeed.
We have gun problems here but since 1996 they have declined dramatically. As have suicides by gun. While mental health care is important, as we have seen many of the instigators of gun crime don’t come to the notice of the mental health system.

Barbara, I have been following the destructive rains and I am sending thoughts and prayers to the those affected. I agree with Julie about the right kind of light. Phototherapy is effective in alleviating SAD, seasonal affective disorder. It’s very real but there is help available so please look into that. I will hunt up a reference for you. You are doing a great job looking for things to help while the rain falls.

Anna – I think some of my frustration comes from having come from a different country. One where it is much more difficult to get guns. Not impossible, and such shootings are not completely unheard of, but you never hear of someone having an arsenal of guns at home, each having been gotten legally. Surely, if there were more roadblocks in the way, some of these people would give up trying to get guns.

I know the president can’t do anything alone, and the NRA is so very powerful a gun lobby that it boggles my mind. I almost think we need some kind of government reform that bans accepting gifts from such lobbyists before we can have gun control reform. If it didn’t come after Sandy Hook, I can only assume that people don’t care enough to make it happen at all. I know there are some – many – who care deeply, but so many vocal others who only care that they not have their right to arm themselves to the teeth infringed. Crazy. And crazy me for letting it make me crazy!

I also agree that mental health care is important, but that alone, won’t solve the problem. So many crimes are committed by people who do not meet any legal or other definition of mental illness. Having guns be that much more difficult to get is the bigger issue, and I worry that so many politicians turn it all into rhetoric by citing the mental health care aspect, and taking the discussion down a different road.

I think you’re right, Anna, that this president would do it tomorrow if he could. And part of me thinks that he’s a very smart man. Maybe smart enough to get this done in the time he has left, if he really makes that the main issue he cares about. What a great legacy that would be for him to leave – not only having brought in good health care for all citizens, but also to have made the country safer by reforming the gun laws. During his “lame duck” time, I think that Mr. Obama has already decided he will not worry about not offending people, and will do more of what he really wants to do. I wish he would take up this cause with a vengeance.

Thanks for your thoughts on Roseburg, Barbara. I couldn’t agree more that if a number of people had simply said what they’d noticed about this young man, it could have been avoided. We’ve been programmed to mind our own business a little too much, I think, and we have to get out of that mentality a bit. It’s okay to step over the line to help someone, and especially to help avert a disaster like this.

Barbara – Seasonal Affect Disorder is very common around here, of course, because our winters are so gray. When it happens in other parts of the country, it must be disorienting at the least. We don’t realize how important sunlight is to our well-being. I know there are lights you can buy – and saw one at Costco the other day for about $60, which is a good price, I think, if it works. I don’t know if it would help you or not, but I know that this kind of weather really takes a toll. I know lots of people think it’s silly, but I actually noticed a big difference in my husband after I painted our walls yellow. It seems to simulate the sun to a degree, and he weathers the winters much better now. For some reason, I’ve not been affected by the gray days, but he was depressed all winter for years, though, thankfully, not as bad as lots of people.

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