As many of my countrymen, I learned a lot about life while reading the adventures of two French comic book heroes: Asterix and Obelix. If you do not know these guys, do yourself a favor and borrow, or order, one of the books in the series. Since 1959, they have been translated in most known languages (and a few dialects too...)
Asterix and Obelix, the indomitable Gauls, are famous for their courage, resiliency and adventuresome spirit. Asterix (the brave and cunning warrior) and Obelix (the not-so-clever, but kind and strong sidekick) make the perfect team. They are also best friends.
For the past three weeks, while struggling with blog-related issues that prevented my new posts from reaching some of my most faithful readers, I was reminded of the two heroes of my youth. They kindly agreed to help me with this story. Good to see you again, les amis! I have missed you.
Truth be told, as an English Major and the product of a generation who did not learn how to use computers in school, I often feel intense frustration when dealing with technical challenges...
|Idefix ("Dogmatix" in English speaking countries,)|
After one too many failed attempts while trying to reach the Blogger support team who - I thought - would provide some help and technical assistance - my anger started growing...
|Do not mess with Obelix, the fierce Gaul warrior!|
... and growing...
Once again, the blogging community rallied up, as friends tried to rescue me. To no avail. Every single effort to fix the problem failed. I did not want to give up and researched the Google product forums. That's when I realized I was not alone. There were many other frustrated bloggers experiencing a wide range of glitches and tech-related issues. And nobody to turn to. As my friends know, a blog is a bit like your baby. Imagine nurturing it; spending countless hours researching and writing stories; building a community; then being stuck in a baffling technology quagmire for days on end.
It seems that in this instance, more than ever, you get what you pay for (Blogger is a free service.) Contacting the Blogger support team feels a lot like - Asterix and Obelix would agree - approaching a Roman legion... Where does one start?
One thing I learned is that when dealing with computers, I do not have Asterix's shrewdness. Nor do I possess Obelix's superhuman strength.
|Obelix's favorite birthday gift:|
"Dealing" with a Roman cohort!
In the end, le Husband sat down for over an hour; diagnosed a "feed issue"; tweaked this; adjusted that; and successfully solved the problem, ensuring that my stories, at least for a while, would travel in cyberspace once again! My hero, the Parisian Gaul!
|The Gaul warrior's victory dance|
All is well that ends well, then? Maybe.
When things got rough, I did a lot of thinking about the blog and the rest of my business. When I don't write here, I am a French language instructor, meeting private students daily, or teaching travel workshops for local organizations. For the last 15 months, I have had the best time - the most creative time - developing the blog. I met fun, wonderful people, who visit me weekly and are kind and encouraging enough to leave comments about each of my stories. Just this week, I received an email from a fellow blogger. How I love these messages. They make it all worthwhile. Everyone loves to feel appreciated, and this French Girl is no exception. Merci, Nicola.
I just wanted to let you know that I posted today on my blog about my visit to Le Restaurant Fournaise in Chatou which was inspired by your wonderful post about the restaurant a few weeks ago. I may never have gone there if it wasn't for your writing about it, and the friend whose birthday we were celebrating has lived here for four years without ever going! Thank you so much for pointing us in the right direction.
I linked to your post and included a small quote from your article (...) It took me a while to discover your blog, but now that I have, I love it. I am learning so much about France and so appreciate all the time you take to research your posts.
I hope you will come and visit my little blog (...)
15 months. 96 posts. New friends. Faithful readers. Awards. French Girl in Seattle is very happy - and proud - to welcome so many guests here each week.
|You are always welcome chez moi!|
Still, it appears time is running out to carry out other projects close to my heart. Taking a photography class. Signing up for a writing class. Offering a new series of travel workshops, and other products, online. Redesigning the existing website. Finding a better platform for this blog. I must admit I am quite excited to go back to school for a while, and push my business forward...
|Not everyone likes school...|
The main thing is that French Girl needs time, and more flexibility to carry out those plans. I am excited about this new adventure - and let me tell you, one will do anything to feel this energized in Seattle during Monsoon season!
Will it all work out? I am willing to take the chance and give it my best.
I just want you to know I will be introducing some changes on the blog over the next few weeks; a new format if you will. There may not be a new story - a long story - every Monday, like in the past. But I am not leaving. Things may be a bit different for a while, so thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
One thing I'd like to be able to do, is to pop in now and then to comment briefly on tidbits that come my way, such as this one, an advertisement by McDonald's France... Oh, the possibilities...
|"Come as you are!" -- Courtesy of McDonalds' France|
(Congrats, McDo, you know how to get French people's attention!)
Les amis, I want to make sure I can reach you whenever I stop by for a friendly...
So, restons en contact. Let's keep in touch, shall we?
Join my Followers (see sidebar) if you have not already; "Like" my Facebook page (see sidebar) for weekly updates and new post alerts; or sign up by email.
Be well. I will not be far. Looking forward to more fun times avec vous... bientôt (soon.)
Spring is the time of plans and projects.
-- Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Illustrations respectfully borrowed from the Asterix and Obelix book series. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source (Gosciny and Uderzo.)