✈ Travel Tuesday ✈

“Have you seen her dressed for winter?”


Powered sugary dust covered the city

Giving Paris an otherworldly glow.

When they boast about seeing Paris in full bloom in Spring,

I shrug and go, “Have you seen her dressed for winter?”


Beautiful photos via @beautiful destinations (Instagram).

Follow this account for beautiful travel destinations!

Click on the link to view the other photos from this ethereal set!

#parisinwinter


Books & Reviews 📚

10 books with long titles 📚

Ciao! I hope everyone is doing good. I had a different post planned altogether as I’m behind schedule with new material, but I couldn’t resist doing this fun post after seeing areadingwritr do it this week. It’s not going to be an every Tuesday thing, but I’ll love to do a few more at some point.

The Artsy Reader’s Top Ten Tuesdays theme for the week is all about Super Long Book Titles. Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of loooonngggg book titles, but most of them are probably forgotten by now. I’m going to share 10 long titles that are on my TBR (most of them are Paris-based). 

1. Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King by Antonia Fraser

Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King by Antonia Fraser

Every year, I keep saying that I’ll get to this book, but I’m yet to pick it up… sadly. 

2. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared: Jonasson,  Jonas: 9781443419109: Books - Amazon.ca

Another book that’s been collecting dust on the TBR.

3. We’ll Always Have Paris: Trying and Failing to Be French by Emma Beddington

We'll Always Have Paris: Trying and Failing to Be French by Emma Beddington

I’m actually close to reading this memoir!

4. Eiffel’s Tower and the World’s Fair: Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count by Jill Jonnes

Eiffel's Tower and the World's Fair: Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists  Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count by Jill Jonnes

This is probably the longest title I own! 

5. The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs by Elaine Sciolino

The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs by Elaine Sciolino

Can’t wait to read about this iconic street!

6. The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette by Deborah Cadbury

The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis  XVI and Marie Antoinette by Deborah Cadbury

I was going to add this book to the wishlist when I realized that I already have it in my TBR!

7. Bright Lights Paris: Shop, Dine & Live…Parisian Style by Angie Niles

Bright Lights Paris: Shop, Dine & Live...Parisian Style: Niles, Angie:  9780425280706: Amazon.com: Books

Ah, Paris, the capital of everything! I look forward to probably breezing through this book soon.

8. The knowledge of the holy: The attributes of God, their meaning in the Christian life by A.W. Tozer

20332223. sx318

I can’t wait to read this book, but I have to be in a good headspace to start.

9. Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University by Nicholas J. McBride

Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University by Nicholas  J. McBride

I got this book during my law phase and although it’s cooled now, I still look forward to reading this book.

10. Learn Japanese: Discover the right approach to Japanese, forget phrases learn how to form your own sentences by Languages World

Learn Japanese: Discover the right approach to Japanese, forget phrases  learn how to form your own sentences.: World, Languages: 9781095362976:  Amazon.com: Books

This book – and several other language books – is for special hoarding purposes.

Well, that was fun! How about you? Do you have a book with a super long title to share? Let me know in the comments.

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Books & Reviews 📚

Books #158 – #161: So-call children’s classics

Image result for nicky doll gif

Yes, gurl, twirl, turn, pose, live your best life, werk! Oops, I forgot where I was. Wrong place for this.

Classic Books 4-7

Somewhere along the road, I took the liberty to also read a few children’s classics that I’ve never read before and a reread. 

Book #158: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Image result for Green Eggs and Ham

Top Promise: This Dr. Seuss classic starring Sam-I-Am will have readers of all ages craving Green Eggs and Ham!

Here’s the thing, I’ve never read any books from this fake doctor and decided to give one of his most popular books a chance. I was left disappointed by this travesty. Sam I Am is probably the most obnoxious thing I’ve ever come across. He’s vile and nasty when it comes to forcing his disgusting food upon others. Learn to respect others’ opinions when it comes to food!

Image result for Green Eggs

via food.com

The book didn’t make sense and it was really boring. Bottom line message: if you keep on pressuring and insisting, they’ll eventually say yes. This is not a great message for children. 

Yuck! I don’t care if its name is Sam, and he’ll eat it in a boat, with a goat in a very green coat, no second serving for me.

Final Verdict:

Image result for gif patrick jane looks like fall

Book #159: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Image result for The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Fun Fact: This book was banned from a public library in Colorado in 1988 because it was deemed too sexist as some readers believed that the young protagonist continually took from the tree without ever giving anything in return.

And in a way, they’re right… just not about the sexist thing. We can look at this book from several points of view, but I dislike it because it’s a horrible and depressing story for children. The Bible tells us that it’s better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), but THIS  kind of giving is inexcusable. The tree loves the boy and is at its happiest whenever she gives, gives, gives! This crazy giving is not self-sacrificial, but rather vile. Vile that the tree can’t learn to say no at times because it makes the thankless boy even greedier. Vile that he took all of her fruits, branches, and trunk until the stump alone remained. Vile that it’s implied that when someone loves you it’s okay to take advantage of them for all that you want/need for they’re always going to be there for you.

This one-sided love is vile.

I know I can look at this story from so many points of view, but from a child’s point of view, what message are they receiving? Most of them are going to cry over how unfair it was for the dead tree anyway. 

Final Verdict:

Image result for ron burgundy noooo gif

Book #160: Eloise by Kay Thompson 

Image result for Eloise by Kay Thompson Book

There is no better way to say this and believe me, I tried to come up with better words, but that’ll be sugarcoating it, so that disclaimer of sorts out of the way: I HATE THIS BOOK!!

I knew I was going to dislike this book from the cover at how the spoiled ugly twerp – yes, I called a child ugly, deal with it, but she’s ugly inside-out – was climbing to scrawl her name on the mirror. Here are some things I STRONGLY dislike about this book:

^ The brat is 6, rich and automatically entitled. Her hobbies include hitting adults, drawing on the hotel walls, and bending over to show her knickers to everyone. She looks as untidy as her room.

^ Where are the brat’s parents? Her mother is across the world meeting important people (probably in Tahiti as I write this) and her father is never mentioned.

^ I feel as if she abuses her pets. She has a dog and a turtle. Those poor, poor animals!

^ The only person kind of tolerable in this story is the English nanny and Eloise enjoys making fun of her accent. What am I talking? The world enjoys making fun of the English accent for some sad reason.

^ I get it. I do. Her mother is rich and has no time for her, so she’s entrusted to a nanny as do most rich brats, but I can’t feel sympathy for her. Mama abandons her at the plaza to go on extravagant trips and to have an affair with her lawyer. Or maybe the poor lawyer is the brat’s father. I don’t care at this point.

^ And calling the name of the Lord in vain after picking up this trait from the English nanny? Oh, little twerp, no! This idiot gets in people’s way all the time and what is the she-devil doing in the men’s room?! 

^ Every time the twerp mentions her name, she practically screams it: ELOISE. Eew! This child is always around adults, mostly males, and yes, I am insinuating. Some of these men are creeps. I see you, Philipi. Creepy French tutoring pervert with a garter.

^ The twerp’s favorite word? Charge it. Entitled sad stupid brat.

^ I do not need to see a naked child!

^ Nanny smokes and drinks while the twerp watches TV with a parasol (in case of a glare) and binoculars.

For those saying that the thing is just a child, being 6 is no excuse to hit people, destroy things and call the Lord’s Name in vain. Solomon tells us so in Proverbs 20:11. This book is not okay for children to read and the subtle sexual references didn’t go unnoticed.

Final Verdict:

Image result for gif patrick jane looks like fall

Book #161: Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

Image result for Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

This line: “The smallest one was Madeline…” All of them looked the same size in the same two straight lines for me. I recall liking this book at first read when I was young, but now… erm, I love the rhyming and I love Miss Clavel for she’s patient, sweet, and kind. I don’t get what is it with children authors showing little girls in their underwear, but it’s annoying.

And here’s something you don’t hear from me often, I still like this little treasure, but what was so special about Madeline anyway? All she had was an appendix removed.

Final Verdict:

Image result for gif speaking french

If I make reading unfun, I don’t apologize. I have no reason to sugarcoat things not even for a children’s book.

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#amwriting ✍

Cry 😢

Short Story #30

The twins were so identical that it was impossible to tell them apart, but that’s where their similarities end for if Ray was the sun, Marcus was certainly the dark stormy weather.

“You make me out to be a robot,” Marcus accuses his twin as they sat in Mille Fleurs with three of their closest friends. “A robot without feelings, too.”

Ray elegantly shrugs for it was the Gallic thing to do before responding, “You’re so emotionless that when you’re chopping onions, you don’t even weep, but the poor onions do!”

Image result for gif crying onions

Ramses found this highly amusing and the éclair that was about to be devoured was paused midway. Trishanti tried to hide her giggles behind a napkin as she stole a peek at her ex-boyfriend’s expression. Benny only shakes his head.

“I am not emotionally detached!” Marcus defends. “Just because I am not your typical stereotypical over sensitive Frenchman means that I am void of emotions. I just deal with it better than Mr. Sunshine In A Cup over there.”

“Marc, come on, we all know Ray’s the better twin.” Justin playfully inputs.

“And you call yourself a best friend.” Marcus rolls his eyes and looks at the healthy slice of tarte tatin that was placed in front of him by the waitress five minutes before the conversation took a weird turn. “I maintain that my brother is a saint, but it doesn’t make him flawless or perfect.”

Ray shrugs. “You’re right, but you’re only deflecting from the conversation. What a heartless thing to do!”

While the others laugh, Marcus scoffs, leans back and runs a hand through his auburn wavy hair. “All right, what’s the lowest you can hit me?”

Delighted, Ray stops eating for the moment and teasingly grins. “You never cried after reading Charlotte’s Web.”

Gasps simultaneously went around the table.

“I know you’re not a crier, but that’s a low blow even for you,” Trishanti accused.

“Says the ex,” Marcus sneers. “Look, the book sucked. I mean, all the other animals were going to get killed someday, so why do we care about the pig alone? Isn’t that selfish? He wasn’t even all that special. He stood under a stupid web and if a spider spun webs with words, then it makes the spider special, not the pig. THE SPIDER CAN SPELL!

“However, we all know that spiders don’t have a long lifespan so where did it get the time to be all philosophical and stuff? Wilbur is such a whiner that I couldn’t feel sorry for him. I don’t eat bacon, but if he whined one more time, I would’ve made him into bacon. He’s so dramatic, I guess he majored in theater.”

Image result for gif charlotte's web

“Wow, you’re going to make a great dad.” Ramses sarcastically remarked. “It’s just a children’s book. Lighten up.”

“Says you, but my children are not going to read a book with the main character running around sobbing and squealing that it doesn’t want to die. In real life, spiders die and leave their children behind. Do human children cry about that? No, they try to kill the spiders. Fight me all you like, but I rest my case.” 

Ray cracks a loving smile at his younger half. “And that’s why you’ll be a top lawyer. Don’t ever stop being you.” Two hours later, after the food was eaten and everyone caught up with one another’s life, Ray stood to help his twin with the crutches. As Ramses made a remark about forgetting Marc’s broken foot, Ray saw another opportunity to rib his brother, “I know, right, and it’s not like he cried when he was flung from the motorcycle either.”

Marcus sighed in exasperation. “Ray, you’re lucky I love you.”

“Otherwise you would’ve beaten me up with the crutches?”

“How do you…? Ray!” 

Image result for gif france

Would Marcus ever cry? Who knows? I just wanted to write some banter.

All grammatical errors are mine.

I am currently reading my way through classics and wondering if my feelings have changed hence the existence of this story. Do I feel as Marcus does about Charlotte’s Web now? I guess you’ll have to wait for the review to find out. Coming soon!

I love Marcus. But I love Ray more. He was practically the very first character I developed when I took writing seriously back then, hence the reason he’ll biasedly always have first place in my fictional heart. 

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Books & Reviews 📚

20 Books I want to read in 2020! 📚

This should’ve been posted since last month, but today’s the 20th, so hey! In no particular order, these are the books I hope to read this year:

1. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Image result for The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

For those of you that read this blog, no explanation is needed. This was my first literature book and the book that made a Francophile out of me. I’m not sure if I’ll get to this book before 2020, but the year’s still young and I’m curious to see if I still like the book… although I don’t think it’ll be a 5-star book anymore.

2. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Image result for The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

This book was only recommended to me 1,000 times. I might’ve exaggerated, but many bookworms have recommended it, so I put it on the list. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything from EH, so this short novel should be the first. 

3. 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall

Image result for 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall

1001? I’m certain that I haven’t read 90% of the books in there and if I did, I probably strongly disliked them. I love lists, but don’t tell me what to do before I die. However, I’m curious to see how bias this complied list is.

4. Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands

Image result for Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands

32 writers share their observations and revelations about the world’s most romantic city. I’m naturally intrigued by anything Paris, so this collection of memoirs should hit the spot.

5. Khu: A Tale of Ancient Egypt by Jocelyn Murray

Image result for Khu: A Tale of Ancient Egypt by Jocelyn Murray

I got this book for two things: the cover and the location. I honestly have no idea what the story is about so it’ll be a surprise read.

6. Napoleon by Andrew Roberts

Image result for Napoleon by Andrew Roberts

This man! In 1804, Napoleon declared himself emperor for life. He is one of history’s greatest military leaders and although he won many battles, the defeat at Waterloo probably haunted him to death. When simulations are run today, they show the French winning, so he had no right to lose. However, like Nebuchadnezzar and many other heads of state over the years, they needed to learn WHO really is in charge. 

7. Love and Louis XIV by Antonia Fraser

Image result for Love and Louis XIV by Antonia Fraser

This man! I’ve been trying to read this book for so many years now, but I keep putting it off. Louis XIV is fascinating, but I am more intrigued by the way he handled his crown and put France on the map. I’m actually looking forward to reading the detailed part of this Sun King’s reign.

8. Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

Image result for Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

I am only familiar with a few works from this man that is said to be a genius and one of the most influential writers in American literary history. I recall “The Tell-Tale Heart” because it was one of the first short stories I had to read for a writing class and also in Spanish. Then there is “Annabel Lee” because I listened to Matthew Gray Gubler read it with such emotion. EAP sounds like an acquired taste, so I’m quite curious to see if it’s a taste that I’ll enjoy.

9. The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer

Image result for The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer

I don’t normally chase after Christian Literature, but it’s A.W. Tozer. This book focuses on God’s character throughout and I can’t wait to get into it.

10. Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth by Naguib Mahfouz 

Image result for Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth by Naguib Mahfouz

I’ve had this book on my TBR for the longest while, and I am hoping that this is the year that I can finally get this Sun King off it. When I came across it, I had to remind myself that this is a novel and not a history book about the heretic King.

11. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Image result for The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

I have no idea as to how I’ve never read this book in my teenage years. Absolutely no idea! Inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, the protagonist Edmond Dantès appears to capture so many hearts, that I am hoping he can live up to the hype when I get into this book. 

12. How the French Invented Love by Marilyn Yalom

Image result for How the French Invented Love by Marilyn Yalom

When this book first came out – I think it was 2012 – I couldn’t wait to put my hands on it. Then I got it and I dumped it into the ever-growing pile of TBR and forgot all about it… until now. The French didn’t invent love, God did, but the French are so devoted to the pleasures of love, I can’t even stereotype it. Throughout centuries, the French have been exemplary when it comes to showing affection and it’s been recorded in their movies and printed in their literature, but the question is: are they truly the world’s greatest lovers? Eh, anybody can love. This book focuses on love through the eyes of French culture and literature.

13. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Image result for Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Here’s the thing: I tried reading this book waaaayyy back and I just couldn’t get into it so when I came across it in my TBR, the first thought was to throw it out, but I relented because I believe in second chances. I also couldn’t get into the movie because Keira Knightley does nothing for me. Neither do Jude Law, or Matthew Macfadyen or any of the actors for that matter. The book was first published in 1878 and many writers consider it to the greatest work of literature ever. 

14. A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul

Image result for A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul

I could never get into books from Caribbean authors for we tend not to see eye to eye. V.S. Naipaul fits perfectly into this category and that’s why I stayed away from reading any work of his for so long, but now, the time has come for that moment of truth, so I really hope to get around to this one before the year ends. 

15. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

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I have no idea what this book is about, I just want to read it, although I didn’t like the last book I read from this author. 

16. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

Image result for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

This memoir describes Jean-Dominique Bauby’s life before and after suffering a massive stroke that left him with locked-in syndrome. The entire book was dictated, letter by letter, by the blinking of his left eye. He died two days later after the publication of his book. I look forward to actually reading this book.

17. The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport

Image result for The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport

Their story is a tragic one. This book is a look at the last royal family of Russia and I look forward to seeing how Rappaport painted these girls’ portraits.

18. Alexander the Great by Philip Freeman

Image result for Alexander the Great by Philip Freeman

This warrior needs no introduction, but I’ve had this book on my TBR for too long and it’s time to finally get over it.

19. 1984 by George Orwell

Image result for 1984 by George Orwell

This book mirrors a lot of what’s happening in the world today. Written in 1949, this book is said to be a great masterpiece and reasonably “prophetic”. People are in awe of his psychic skills when in fact, God warned us about what was going to come to pass in these last days if we don’t repent in a book written way before 1984 called the Bible for it’s the living and standing Word.

20. The Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia

Image result for the epic of gilgamesh book

This epic mythological tale is regarded as the earliest surviving great work of literature and the second oldest religious text after the Pyramid Texts. I think it’s a knockoff of the Bible as do all mythologies, but hey, I gotta read it before I knock it. It’s been on my TBR like forever, so I’ll try to get to this one before the year kisses us adieu. 

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To be honest, I am not sure if I’ll even get to read all the books that I mentioned here, but I am looking to expand my reading horizons a little. Lately, I’ve been engrossed in French Literature and I could’ve easily listed 20 French books I’ll love to read before the end of 2020.

What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

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✈ Travel Tuesday ✈

Instagram’s Favorite Street! 🇫🇷

With its candy-coated pastel houses and weathered cobblestones, it’s easy to see why Rue Crémieux is a HUGE hit on Instagram. This car-free backstreet is the most Instagramable street in Paris, much to the annoyance of the locals. 

Image result for Rue Crémieux

Photo via aei-voyage.be

While the picturesque street in the 12th arrondissement is garnering a lot of attention, tourists also have to be mindful of the residents.

BACK STORY

The one-block pedestrian street was originally built as workers’ housing in 1857. From 1865-1898, it was known as Rue Millaud. It was renamed for Adolphe Crémieux, a French lawyer and politician. During the catastrophic Crue de la Seine de 1910 (1910 Great Flood of Paris), water from the Seine reached as high as 1.75 meters on one of the buildings. In 1993, the street was closed to vehicles.

TODAY

We live in a self-absorbed world. With the hashtag #ruecremieux now linking to over 31,000 images on Instagram, Rue Crémieux might be a paradise for Instagrammers, but they’ve taken away the residents’ privacy. They used to be able to take their tables outside to have lunch, but now, they can’t do so with yoga aficionados, dance sessions, and fashion shoots blocking their doorways. The residents are okay with people taking photos, but they’ve demanded that the city of Paris to protect their privacy by closing the street to visitors on evenings and weekends which is fair enough. Imagine looking out your window and seeing this:

View this post on Instagram

Dimanche 💃 #paris #ballet #streetdance

A post shared by Club Crémieux (@clubcremieux) on

Or this:

And this:

And even this:

It’s a beautiful street, but it’s rude to disturb the peace and snatch away privacy. Some even go as far as recording residents leaving their homes. People are sheep, literally, and when they see something goes viral online, they want to do it, too. You travel to experience, not to take pretentious photos of yourself.

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Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

꧁The Book Blogger Memory Challenge ꧂

I love fun challenges and madamewriterblog recently posted a good one based only on total recall! For this challenge, I can’t look at my bookshelf or use the internet which is fine for I’m currently at work listening to the sound of rain. 

Name a book written by an author named Michael

I am yet to read this book, but Moonwalk by Michael Jackson. I hope to read it soon for it’s been sitting in my TBR for way too long.

Image result for michael jackson book moonwalk

Name a book with a dragon on the cover

I am not a fan of anything dragons for the devilish symbolism is not lost on me, but there were a few popular books a few years ago that I kept seeing EVERYWHERE and now that I need my memory the most, it fails me! This is unaccepta… wait, wait, wait! Yu-Gi-Oh! mangas have a few covers with the – I can’t believe I’m about to say this – Blue Eyes White Dragon on them. Other dragons from the series were also featured on later covers including the golden glorious Winged Dragon of Ra.

Image result for gif yami and dragons

Name a book about a character named George

George… George… ah ha! George of the Jungle by Justine Korman! I only know this George and the curious one. Wait, Curious George is also a book! If I recall correctly, my youngest sister had a CG book. I can’t recall the author’s name, but I’ve locked in my final answer, Eddie: Curious George

Image result for gif curious george

I love this monkey! Also, late afternoon memories are assaulting me
so hard right now. I used to marathon CM when I got home from work
only a few years ago.
😔 I know what I’m going to do when I get home!

Name a book with an author with the surname of Smith

Ooh, Nighty Night and Good Night by Michael W. Smith (Yes, the Gospel crooner). It’s a children’s book that I’ve been meaning to get my hands on for a while now.

Image result for michael w smith nighty night and good night

Name a book set in Australia

The only book that comes to mind is Private Down Under by James Patterson and I disliked that book big time! As a matter of fact, I dislike what I’ve read of the Private series (2-3 books in) and called it quits because I can’t stand the main protagonist Jack.  

Image result for Private Down Under

Name a book with the name of a month in the title

This book is either in my TBR or I’m yet to get it: April in Paris. I love that the title contains my birth month and dream destination. 😄

Image result for Michael Wallner paris in april

Name a book with a knife on the cover

This is easy because it’s in my TBR: The Chef by James Patterson.

Image result for james patterson the chef

Name a book with the word ‘one’ in the title

This one is also in my TBR: The One Year Bible

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Name a book with an eponymous title

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. I hope to read this book once again in the near future.

Image result for oliver twist charles dickens

Name a book turned into a movie

My favorite book to movie adaptation was The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. The 1993 version was the only one I accepted as a pass.

Image result for gif the three musketeers

This was actually quite fun! However, doing this challenge made me realize that I’ve gone slack in reading. I’ll have to fix that soon. If you’re up to do this challenge, feel free to and don’t forget to check out Madame Writer’s entry here:

The Book Blogger Memory Challenge

***Images and GIFs via Google Search

 

 

#amwriting ✍, Ray & Marcus da Díxon 💙

Busboys!

Short Story #27

“Joyeux Anniversaire! Joyeux…”

Marcus scoffs as his and Ray’s friends – Benny, Justin, Ramses, and Hasan – cheerily sang birthday greetings to them. “Come on, guys, do you want the whole of Montmartre to know it’s our birthday?” 

“Aw, Marc, don’t be grouchy!” Ray positively beams. “We only turn eighteen once!” 

“Don’t encourage them!”

“We still love you, Marc!” Benny and Ramses chortled as the little party walked to the top of the district with Moulin de la Galette in sight.

“Eew! No! Love me less!”

The guys heartily laughed as they came to a stop in front of Le Petit Eiffel its blue and white facade beckoning potential patrons in. The twins had a reserved table for six two months ago and they were looking forward to spending the evening in good company. However, when they walked inside the Belle Époque inspired restaurant, the maître d was near tears and looked as if he was ready to quit.

The little party paused to take in the scene. One busboy was clearing a table of five, two waiters were trying not to crash into each other as they sped to the kitchen with orders and many patrons were complaining about poor service from such a fine establishment!

The maître d sighs. “It’s been like this for the past two hours. Monsieur Deschamps has broken his leg and left his nephew in charge, but Gregorie has not been nice to the staff and they had it to here and some of them quit earlier even the head chef.” 

“What can we do to help?” the twins asked in unison. 

The man was bewildered. “Are you joking? It’s your birthday! Your table is reserved and…”

“We want to help in any which way we can.” Ray was adamant. “La carte, s’il vous plaît.” He scanned the menu and grins. “I can cook everything except the frog legs,” he said making a face. “I’ll cook, Ramses can help, Marc and Benny can bus the tables and Justin and Hasan can be wait staff.”

Marcus frowns. “Why can’t I help you cook?”

“You’ll eat the dishes before they reach the tables.” Ray was already making a beeline for the kitchen. “All right, men, let’s go to work!”

***

Le Petit Eiffel had to turn away some patrons after word spread about the da Díxon twins busing tables. When the doors closed at midnight, everyone was exhausted. Marcus sat next to his twin munching on a pack of Lays he found abandoned in the kitchen cupboards. Justin, Benny, and Ramses were on the phones to their parents while Hasan hummed under his breath to an old Egyptian tune.

“Some birthday this turned out to be, huh?”

Ray smiles at Ramses. “At the end of the day, our expensive cologne and fancy clothes mean nothing. Tonight brought me immense joy and when I look back at the year I’ve had, I don’t think any memory will top this night. Being selfless as Jesus is my main priority and I love to serve whenever I can.”

Marcus nods in agreement and runs a hand through his wavy red hair just as Guy the maître d’ and the skeletal staff of the restaurant wheeled a cake on a trolley into the sitting area.

“Joyeux Anniversaire, jumeaux!” Guy happily exclaimed as everyone gathered around the cake. “Marcus, Ray, and friends, we thank you tremendously for your help tonight, especially on such a special occasion. May the good Lord continue to bless you.”

The twins grin at each other as the restaurant filled with the sweet traditional singing of “happy birthday”.

French terms used:

* La carte, s’il vous plaît – The menu, please.

* Joyeux Anniversaire, jumeaux – Happy birthday twins 

Inspired scripture: 

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 20:27-28

All grammatical errors are mine.

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I must confess that I rarely write stories now. I only write when I’m inspired by God and lately, my focus is not on writing stories so I don’t know when another one might be published on this blog. This one was meant to be longer, but hey, the shorter version works, too. 

Blessed Tuesday and…

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