Two Steps Forward, One Step Back (A Sentence Fragment)

Thierry: Well, Arielle, we did it. We whittled the L’Amerique book down, changed the point-of-view, wrote some new stuff, and in record time! I am impressed! You only called me a bad word once during the entire process!

Arielle:  Qui? Moi?

Thierry: Oui.

Arielle: Never! You must be thinking of some other brilliant and talented editor extraordinaire. By the way, there are sentence fragments at the beginning of this blog. Please fix them.

Thierry: Excuse me, Arielle, but you seem to be forgetting that, as you know and have told me, I wouldn’t recognize a sentence fragment if it bit me.

Arielle: Nevermind, already did it myself. You’re welcome, readers.

Thierry: At last count, we had about 130 more-or-less finished pages. I had originally planned for the L’Amerique series to be trilogy, and the second book, tentatively titled The First Few Years, would pick up when the family arrives in America.

Arielle: Right, I remember.

Thierry: So now I’m going to rewrite that from the French kid’s point of view and stick it on the end of the first book.  Two books in one!

Arielle: Everything’s two-for-one in America. Anyway, I’m actually working on what we are calling “Chapter 23” of L’Amerique right now. By the way, did I tell you that I’m now struggling to maintain normal conversations in English? I’ve been reading so much of L’Amerique that I occasionally refer to perfectly innocent American bystanders as “Chérie,” and occasionally greet them with “salut,” or suggest that he or she “arrete,” which of course confuses everyone. The other day, I tried to order a milkshake at Lost Dog by asking “s’il te plait.” What have you done?

Thierry: And here I thought Chérie was reserved for me. Ah, America.  Anyway, you spoke French perfectly well long before you met me. You can’t hold me responsible for your re-emergent francophonology.

Arielle: Cherie is the feminine, so no, it’s not reserved for you, unless there’s something you feel you should tell me.

Thierry: This is getting well away from the high literary tone we strive for,  Why am I not surprised?

Arielle: A high literary tone, je pense, calls for a complete lack of sentence fragments. What did  you want to talk about?

Thierry: Is this what you anglophones call “a bee in a bonnet?” This monomaniacal devotion to a small issue?

Arielle: Monomaniacal is a fun word! It is a word quite frequently used by one of my favorite authors, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Do you know what literary device he absolutely did NOT employ?

Thierry: Arthur who?

Arielle: I quit.

Thierry: Were you referring to Arsene Lupin?  

Arielle: QUITTING. That was NOT okay. We have talked about this. You KNOW how I feel about Maurice Leblanc. Low blow. Bad form. Not a strong choice. Quitting.

Thierry: Désolé. Anyway, you can’t quit. We have about twelve more books to do together, including a couple of yours.

Arielle: I don’t write books. I only write your books.

Thierry: I believe the word you’re looking for is rewrite.

Arielle: Okay, fair. So, I rewrite your books? How exactly is that better? Anyway, like I said, I’m actually working on L’Amerique right now, and we have a small problem with chapters 23 and 24. 23 is too short, and 24 doesn’t flow logically from the end of 23. Can you write more things? Possibly now? Maybe while I go and get a drink or something? How does twenty minutes sound?

Thierry: I’m on it.

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