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?
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.