|Katharine Hepburn's four Academy Awards|
(National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC)
For the last three weeks, I have been reviewing French movies for the Seattle International Film Festival: Thank you for following this budding movie critic and for encouraging me along the way.
I was ready to move on and start writing about another fun topic, namely my summer travel plans, but then I heard the news: I had been nominated for two Liebster Blog Awards by fellow bloggers, Michel, of Our House in Provence and Michael, of Je Parle Américain.
|Liebster Award: It's all about paying it forward!|
Michel and Michael. Two bloggers, both American. The first one owns a house in the charming provençal village of Sablet, where he lives part of the year with his wife Shirley. You will enjoy reading his colorful posts about the small towns and villages he visits along the way; the second one, a 40-something guy who relocated to France several years ago, married a Frenchman, and now chronicles his Parisian adventures. Pay them a visit when you get a chance!
I have received a Liebster Award before, and while I feel honored to see my blog recognized by this community, I am also aware of the steps involved in accepting a nomination: Revealing 11 facts about yourself (not 5 or 24, mind you... 11!) then answering 11 questions by the blogger who nominated you; finally, nominating 5 deserving blogs (preferably with fewer than 200 Followers,) linking to their blogs in your acceptance post, and posing 11 questions, etc.
Phew. You get the picture: Nobody in Hollywood - and I mean NOBODY - has to work this hard to receive an Academy Award or an Emmy. That, mes amis, is a fact.
I realize this post may include more personal information about this French Girl you will ever care to hear. I am proud of my little blog, and what we have accomplished so far, mostly thanks to my faithful readers. But I have decided to add a little twist, to make this visit worth your while. So while I go through the steps of accepting my nomination, I will also share the limelight with favorite ladies of mine, all award-winning actresses. They are the shining stars. Love them all.
|Audrey Hepburn. Grace Kelly. Backstage,|
Academy Awards ceremony (1956)
But the Liebster Award is patiently waiting for me. I, too, need to step into the light and claim it.
Part 1: Eleven facts about French Girl in Seattle.
1. Once upon a time... French Girl in Seattle was born in December 2010 during our annual visit to Paris. Two and a half years later, we have reached close to 400,000 pageviews. Over 700 readers (mostly American and French,) have signed up to become French Girl in Seattle's "Most Faithful Followers," here, or on the blog's Facebook page. Merci à tous!
2. Discovering my creative self...I have never considered myself a creative person (I am not crafty at all; can't carry a tune or play an instrument; and can't hold a drawing pencil) Still, French Girl in Seattle has taught me I could be creative in so many other ways. I value the learning experience involved in researching my stories; the hours spent writing; the connections and friendships developed along the way. The blog - and the community around it - have become trusted friends in difficult times. I am grateful for that.
3. I was born... in the lovely city of Toulouse, in southern France. Even though I have not returned in years, I am planning on getting re-acquainted with my Gascon roots in the coming year. There could be worse things in life than hailing from the same region as Cyrano de Bergerac or D'Artagnan!
|Audrey Hepburn, Best Actress, Roman Holiday, 1953|
4. As I was growing up, I lived in several French cities with my family. From Toulouse to Lille, via Montpellier, Lyon, and finally, Paris. This traveling life showed me the benefits of being adaptable, curious and outgoing. I was lucky to always make new friends along the way. This came in handy because...
5. Eighteen years of my life have been spent in the United States so far. One year in Atlanta, as a foreign exchange student in the mid 1980's. Seventeen in Seattle, WA. I don't spend nearly enough time on the East Coast, which I explored for years during my summer vacation in my 20's. I miss it.
6. Even though I have lived in [American] suburbia for the last 13 years, I am still a city girl at heart. People watching from a café terrace on a busy street is one of my favorite pastimes.
|Grace Kelly, best actress, Country Girl, 1954|
7. I love movies. My life would not have been the same without movies (if my best friends are tired of hearing me quote favorite characters, they have been kind enough not to tell me... yet.)
8. Three reasons why I am a lousy French woman: I don't like to cook. I don't know much about wine. I don't own a single skirt or a pair of high heel pumps (sorry, Christian Louboutin!)
9. Three reasons why I am a real French woman: I love and use accessories. I understand the concept of doing things in moderation. I am frank and forthcoming.
|Simone Signoret, Best Actress, A Woman at the Top, 1959|
10. I have developed an unhealthy obsession with: Nutella; caramel-flavored desserts; les Fraises Tagada; la Deuche (the 2cv;) Coco Chanel.
11. You can take the French Girl out of France, but you can't take France out of the French Girl. Whoever said "Absence makes the heart grow fonder," was absolutely right.
|Vivien Leigh, Best Actress, Gone with the Wind, 1939|
French Girl in Seattle answers 11 questions by fellow bloggers Michel and Michael.
1. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, alive or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Coco Chanel (I'd be certain to stay very quiet and listen the whole time...) Do I REALLY have to say why?
If Coco was not available, then I vote for Monsieur Gustave Eiffel.
2. Name your favorite restaurant.
I once had a memorable meal "al fresco" at Château Eza, in Eze Village, on the French Riviera. I don't get impressed easily, but Château Eza blew me away. It was not just about the food (delicious,) service (French waiters at their knowledgeable, professional best,) but also about le cadre (the environment.) Oh, la, la!
|Sophia Lauren, Best Actress, Two Women, 1962|
3. What makes you smile more quickly than anything else?
My black cat, Felix, a.k.a. "The Puma." Cats are funny, whether they intend to be or not.
4. The best quality in a human being?
5. What infuriates you more than anything else?
Selfishness. People who think of themselves first; act without thinking, and do not consider the consequences of their actions, and their impact on the people around them, (relatives, friends or total strangers.)
|Elizabeth Taylor, Best Actress, Butterfield 8, 1960|
6. If you had to live during any other period of history, which one would it be, and why?
I guess I am a little bit like the character played by Marion Cotillard in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris: I would have loved living in Paris during la Belle Epoque. I could have attended the 1889 World Fair; would have been one of the first visitors to reach the top of the Eiffel Tower. I would have splurged on a decadent meal at the Ritz Paris, prepared by the great Auguste Escoffier!
7. What would be your dream job?
I have always dreamed of running a big hotel. I would also love making a living as a travel writer. Or as a writer.
8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
My friends could answer this question for me: Nissa la Bella. Nice, of course. This Southern belle has it all: the Mediterranean. Proximity to Provence, and Italy. Exceptional weather. City life. Not too big, not too small. Nice, definitely.
|Julia Roberts, Best Actress, Erin Brockovich, 2000|
9. What movie or TV show do you hate that everyone loves?
Any reality TV show. They are too painful to watch. I'd rather spend time with a good book or a favorite movie.
10. Who is your favorite author?
It's a tie between John Steinbeck and John Irving. And I would choose Fitzgerald over his friend Hemingway.
11. Favorite quote?
Any quote by Coco Chanel. I can relate to so many of them...
"The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud."
|Helen Mirren, Best Actress, the Queen, 2006|
Part 3: French Girl in Seattle's 5 nominations
This is why the Liebster Award was created: to showcase excellent blogs with fewer than 200 Followers. Pay them a visit and help them grow!
Dear Blogger friends: To claim your Award, follow the steps detailed at the beginning of this post, and answer the 11 questions above, or just improvise... To quote Katharine Hepburn: "If you follow all the rules, you miss all the fun!" :-)
1. My friend Sandy, of Southwest Chards, lives in a beautiful part of the country. She delivers some of the most colorful and sunny posts out there in Blogland... They have often cheered my up through the long, wet, Pacific Northwest winters.
2. Craig, of Boris in Ayshire, has lived around the world, including in France. But now, he and his partner, and their cute dog Boris, are back in Scotland. Everyone who reads Craig knows who the true star of the blog is... (Note to Craig: We need more photos of Boris, please :-)
3. Alison, of Flartopia, "French teacher by calling and training, a cubicle rat by default," chronicles her life in North Carolina... NC has never looked so good...
|Marion Cotillard, Best Actress, La Vie en Rose, 2007|
4. You like to travel? Follow Sandy, of You may be wandering. Oh, the places you'll go!
5. Finally, Pam, of Views from My Kitchen Sink... except Pam's kitchen sink overlooks the Eiffel Tower... well, not really, but she still lives in a beautiful Parisian neighborhood. Pam chronicles her family's life in the City of Light; takes beautiful photos; and keeps an open mind about these crazy French people...
Voilà, les amis. Mission accomplished. I have accepted my two Liebster Blog Awards.
Thanks again for nominating me, Michel and Michael.
Good luck to the blogs I have nominated today. Pay it forward!
(*) "You love me, you really love me!" -- Sally Field, upon receiving the Best Actress Academy Award for Norma Rae in 1979.