"Not much meat"?

Writing has reminded me to how important it is to always KEEP AN EVEN KEEL! 

Whenever you put yourself out there by taking risks and pursuing new endeavours, you open yourself up to encouragement and praise, and to criticism too.  

When I saw the book review below, entitled "NOT MUCH MEAT", pop up on the Amazon book page of my travel memoir Uncorked, I have to admit that it hurt to absorb it.  Though seeing it sandwiched by so many great reviews from people who find my writing entertaining, inspiring, and touching, quickly shook me out of that funk (2 most recent examples below).  And looking at the ugly review from a glass-half-full perspective, I thought to myself "any form of art never appeals to everybody ... 3 out of 5 is still a passing grade...  and the same reviewer gave a Bill Bryson book a 2-star rating, so I'll accept the 3-star rating and move on".

No matter what you do in life, never let the flattery bestowed on you get you too high on yourself, nor let the criticism thrown at you get you down! 





3 STARS:  Not much meat.

Pleasant enough read, interesting history of Petanque, The rest seems a tad sophomoric. Best for Mr. Shore to keep his day job.


5 STARS:  Delightful - Avec beaucoup pour dire à la condition humaine...De même le français: smiles peppered throughout

Recommend for the delightful story Paul Shore tells which is written well, but additionally for the ways he shares his breakthroughs with the "hard to crack" or "be accepted by" French! Lastly, enough French entwined to enhance language learners, yet not so much for anyone not interested in French language acquisition.  Hated to see it end! That says volumes. Viva la France!


5 STARS:  A different sort of travel book

Charming, lovingly assembled, and endearing at every turn. Paul Shore lands “plop” in the center of small-town French culture and manages the seemingly impossible feat of integrating his new world energy with the old-world stodginess he dearly loves and deeply respects. Don’t expect a tour book, but DO expect a peek at the depth and intricacy of French culture. Splendid!

A "Why not Try?" Top 10 List

What I Uncorked (learned) this year from writing and self-publishing...


#10.  Being a "struggling artist" is a very real thing!

#9.  Ten people at a book reading is a "huge crowd".

#8.  Five sales at a book reading is a "massive sales event".

#7.  "Don't take 'no' for an answer" applies to this pursuit too!

#6.  What Petanque lacks in world-wide notoriety it makes up for in intriguing quirkiness and charm.

#5.  We all need a dose of France and a glass of red wine from time to time!

#4.  Referring to any art as being "potentially frivolous" can earn a tongue-lashing from a wise cousin.

#3. Each reader who posts a review about being touched by or entertained by your writing, makes the work feel worthwhile all over again.

#2. If you win an award, you are an "award-winning author" ... so say it.


And the #1 thing I learned this year from writing...

#1.  The process is healthy and rewarding in many unanticipated ways... so if you have ever dreamed of writing, WHY NOT TRY?


Happy Holidays,


La Puff - audio excerpt #1

Dodging smoke exhaled into your face, when you say something silly, is part of being welcomed into French culture. The risk of a smoke puff in the face never stopped me from asking questions and taking risks during my year living in France.


Enjoy the first release of an audio excerpt from Uncorked below.



Incidentally, pricing for Uncorked will be increasing for both the print book and the ebook in October, so please take advantage of the current introductory prices soon.



Why not try?... to be a rock musician!

Why not try?... to be a rock musician!

Grant and I certainly seem to share a belief in a "why not try?" mantra!  The story of his determination and creativity, in Dirty Windshields, further inspires me to ignore notions of artistic pursuits being potentially "frivolous", and to TRY NEW THINGS in the face of what appear to be insurmountable challenges!

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