Wednesday, September 7, 2016

"Le Substitute"

Writers are just like everyone else--life sometimes gets in the way of their assigned duties. I'm not Elizabeth Goddard, even though the schedule may show her as posting today. She's caught up in life. Well, actually she's involved with writing deadlines and moving, so I volunteered to post today in her stead.

Substituting reminded me of an experience many, many years ago in Paris. No, I'm not going to talk about going around L' Etoile, a roundabout where twelve avenues converge around the Arc De Triomph and gives US drivers fits. (If you haven't seen the movie, European Vacation, watch it and picture me in the role Chevy Chase plays, driving round and round and never being able to get off). This was a church choir trip to London and Paris, singing at various churches.

In Paris, we discovered that our choir was supposed to sing in two churches at once. No problem. The choir director and one accompanist would go to one church, the other accompanist and our choir president would go to the other. And, you guessed it, I was the choir president.

I did my best to explain the situation to the pastor, who was bilingual--sort of--and we came out on the stage prepared to sing. He walked to the pulpit and began to spout French much faster than my guidebook grasp of the language could follow. But I'll never forget the last two words of his introduction: "Le Substitute."

Well, that's me, folks. Le Substitute. And to thank you for reading this far, I'll give a signed copy of my novella, Silent Night, Deadly Night, to one of you who leaves a comment (and who remembers to include your email address, so I can contact you).

Bon chance. That's good luck (or, at least, I think it is).

24 comments:

  1. Paris. There's nothing quite like it.

    I had a similar situation with guidebook French, which taught me to use sign language and speak English (I know, I know). But there's no point in speaking French if you don't understand a word of it.

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  2. Funny story, Richard. Nice of you to sub today! Thanks for the giveaway. jerusha(at)JerushaAgen(dot)com

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  3. Ok, that's funny! I'm grateful that when I was in Paris, I wasn't allowed to drive, (It was a high school choir trip). quiltedchicken61(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. I'll have to watch that movie with Chevy Chase! Thanks for subbing in today. Always enjoy reading what you have to say. cindy99@mac.com

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  5. Reading your story reminds me of a time in 1975 when my family was visiting Washington D.C.. My father was driving the car. He was driving on the loop around town and becoming increasingly upset with the traffic and road construction. After a few laps around searching unsuccessfully for our exit, he declared "This is how this city was populated, people became stuck going round and round looking for their road. When they couldn't find it, they gave up and settled down where they were." I learned later the reason the roads were torn up. A underground metro was being built to help eleviate traffic and allow easier access to the monuments during the bicentennial.

    Kathy
    phoneticpanda (at)gmail dot com

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  6. Reading your story reminds me of a time in 1975 when my family was visiting Washington D.C.. My father was driving the car. He was driving on the loop around town and becoming increasingly upset with the traffic and road construction. After a few laps around searching unsuccessfully for our exit, he declared "This is how this city was populated, people became stuck going round and round looking for their road. When they couldn't find it, they gave up and settled down where they were." I learned later the reason the roads were torn up. A underground metro was being built to help eleviate traffic and allow easier access to the monuments during the bicentennial.

    Kathy
    phoneticpanda (at)gmail dot com

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  7. Thanks to those of you who commented. I'm going to choose a winner of the novella after this weekend, and will email them.
    Meanwhile, keep the comments coming.

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  8. What an interesting experience! My mom had trouble with all the streets in DC the first time we went to pick my dad up work. It was right after we moved there in early 60's! It was no fun!
    duellonlysis@aol.com

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  9. Made me smile & thank you for the giveaway redeemed1ru (at) comcast (dot) com

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  10. Thanks for the post... would love to read your book
    smincer10(at)gmail(dot)com

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  11. Enjoyed your post. Thanks for the giveaway - would love to win :)
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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  12. I never did accomplish learning French well. But always being in season even when it's "Le Substitute." Thank you for sharing your experience. Marilynridgway78[at]gmail[dot]com

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  13. Enjoyed the post. Thanks for the giveaway.
    betsylu2@msn.com

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  14. How sweet of you to substitute for Elizabeth. Great post. Thanks for the opportunity to win.
    debsbunch777(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. Thanks for the chance to win your book. And thanks for stepping in as Le substitute. Your story about the traffic in Paris reminds me of why my husband tries his best to avoid driving in places like that. And your story about trying to speak French reminded me of the time we were at the airport ready to check/in for our flight home. My hubby is great at catching the accents of various languages, so he said hello to the person at the desk, so she assumed he knew the language & began rambling off quickly n the foreign to us language. My hubby quickly responded--"Whoa! whoa! That's all I know!" LOL
    vmarney )at) hot mail (dot) com

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  16. Your story kicda reminds me of the traffic in Phoenix AZ. I lived there for 15 years and let me tell you it is pretty rough. I love suspense and I have so been wanting to read a Richard Mabry book. This one sounds fantastic. Thanks for a chance to win. spotts06@comcast.net

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  17. Thanks for a chance to win! Fingers crossed!

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    1. Lela, only works if you add your email address (like this: Dr R L Mabry at gmail dot com)

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  18. I pleased me to know you are musical. I love to play the piano and sing. My senior year in college our chamber singing group changed to the Musical Majority and went on a USO tour of Asia (Korea, Japan, Taiwan, The Philippines and Guam. By the way, I love your writing. beth_rumbaugh@yahoo.com

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  19. Anusing story. I'm glad we don't have large roundabouts in California!

    Thanks for the chance to win your book.

    Julie
    Jahaefner@aol.com
    jahaefner at aol dot com

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  20. It's fun to read about your experience in Paris and thanks for being Le Substitute for us today!
    Connie
    cps1950 (at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. What a great story about the choir. There is nothing wrong with being Le Substitute . I live every book you have written and hope I get the chance to read this one as well.
    Deana
    Jhdwayne(at)peoplepc(dot)com

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  22. And the randomly selected winner is Stella Potts. Thanks to everyone who left a comment (and those who read the post but didn't throw your name into the competition). I've sent Stella an email, notifying her.

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