Tuesday, January 11, 2011

International Wives

It's nowhere near Valentines Day yet, but International Romance is in the air! Sorry for the cliché, but I have to say - I LOVE these stories! I wish there were more than four weeks in January, because there are a lot more faces that could grace these pages... If you missed Nicole Ducleroir last week, you should really read hers, and of course next week we'll have Jessica Bell.

This week, as promised, we have Katie Mills, aka Creepy Query Girl (top right) sharing her story in signature fun style. She's an American writer, teacher, and mother living in France. Here's her blogger profile, in case you haven't had the good fortune to find her before:

I used to be a normal married mother of three. Then I finished my first book in january 2009 and slowly transformed into the creepy query girl. Now in my spare time I'm tracking literary agents' every move. On the internet. Not like, outside their windows with binoculars......yet.

And here's her story!

When you imagine a young woman spending her first year in Paris, you’d think she’d fall in with some skinny, pointy shoed, slick-haired smoker named ‘Luc’ or ‘Pierre’.

And truth be told, I did go out with a few of those types in the first months I spent abroad. But since I have an aversion to men with girly hands, it was doomed from the start.

One day, while walking home from one of my (many many) French classes, an American classmate mentioned his rock group was looking for a female vocalist. I offered to audition since I grew up surrounded by musicians and missed performing.

Jean-Christophe or ‘JC’ (pronounced Jee Say) was the drummer for the group. He didn’t look like any of the other French guys I’d dated. Actually he could have passed for an NFL linebacker.

I can’t say it was all stars and fireworks upon our first meeting. He didn’t think the group needed a female vocalist, especially a little blond American chick who looked about as hard-rock as a well groomed poodle.

He handed me the mic without a word. Okay maybe one word.

He said “Sing.”

So I did. Once they realized I could carry a tune alright (I mean, how hard is it really to sing Zombie? I just did my best imitation of a barking dog.), JC had to accept that I might be around to stay. Eventually he loosened up and we became friends.

I discovered after awhile that, despite his name, Jean-Christophe was probably the most American French boy I’d ever met. His favorite movies included ‘Rocky’ somewhere in the title. His favorite restaurant had two golden arches heading the menu. He preferred beer over wine, hated smoke filled rooms and wouldn’t wear pointy shoes if his life depended on it. Being with him was like being home, as strange as that sounds. And now, after eight years of marriage, three kids, and seven years of life in France, I couldn’t imagine a home without him.

The same thing can be said for this ramped love affair I’ve been having with the English language in the last few years.

I always liked to write. I always liked words. But since moving to France, and learning to speak, think and even dream in another language? – Let’s just say it’s given me a whole new outlook on my mother tongue. Like my husband, writing just feels like home. I love that no matter how funky my accent gets, or how much I stutter over English words and phrases I used to be able to spew without a second thought- when I hold my fingers over a keyboard, it all comes rushing back to me.

It’s reassuring to know the words are still there. They don’t hide from me when I’m writing like they do when I’m trying to have a conversation in English after being out of the country for almost three years at a time.

Don’t ask me why this is. It probably has something to do with how the brain functions.

But in any case, if it weren’t for the French language and this beautiful country, I honestly don’t know if writing would be as important or as magical to me as it’s become.

Just like if I hadn’t been surrounded by skinny French guys with girly hands, I might have never been drawn to the six foot, broad shouldered, Franco-shoulda-been-American that went on to become my husband!


Katie and family


19 comments:

Alesa Warcan said...

Three cheers for Katie AKA Creepy! She rocks (both literally and figuratively)! : j

Katie Mills said...

thanks so much Carolyn! This was a lot of fun!

Jessica Bell said...

Aww ... what a lovely story! You sound all mushy still in love. So beautiful. xoxo

LTM said...

what a great, awesome love story. :o) Zombie... *snort* :D

Carolyn Abiad said...

Thanks for stopping by, Katie! I really enjoyed your story. :D

Samantha Vérant said...

Awesome story, Katie! I didn't know your hubs was a rocker. How could I, right? Nice to learn something new about you! Your kids are beautiful! Cheers.

Elana Johnson said...

I loved this post. Getting to know more about Katie? Priceless! Great series, guys!

Clarissa Draper said...

What an adorable family! How romantic. Is the band still performing?
CD

The Golden Eagle said...

That's an awesome story. :)

Great picture!

Old Kitty said...

Awwww wow!! Wow!!! Awww this is fabulous and so romantic - I love it!! Thank your Carolyn for hosting and thank you Katie Mills for sharing your fab romance with your gorgeous French fella!! I love that it wasn't love at first sight too! And you can sing!! Is there no end to your talents?!?!?! The pic says it all!!! Such a happy happy happy family!! Take care
x

Kelly said...

What a great love story! Cute idea for a series too. I was going to ask if Creepy Query Girl knew Samantha from France but I see they are aquainted!

Christopher said...

That was really touching, I think I'll have to go check out her page.

KarenG said...

What a fun story! This is a really intriguing concept, the international love stories. And yes, Katy, looking at the photo I'm having a difficult time imagining JC with a French accent!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

You've gotta love Katie! What a great story too!

Ayak said...

Another lovely story. This is a great idea Carolyn.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

What a great story! I learned so much about Katie that I didn't know before. I've always felt a kindred relationship with her, since I also married a Frenchman and lived/had babies in France. This was a joy to read!

Have a great weekend!

Vicki Rocho said...

That was awesome - what a lovely family you have!!

Melissa Gill said...

What an awesome story Katie. I'm so glad I found this. I love Katie's blog. Great to see a picture of her family.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

What a fun idea, and what an awesome story. Must catch up on the rest.

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