Archive for the ‘Paris’ Category

5/18/20, Dazed and Confused

Posted on May 18, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

How are you? Hanging in, I hope, whether confined, or liberated, under serious lockdown, or finally easing out of it, depending on your country, city or state. I hope you’re finding ways to keep busy and keep your spirits up. These are challenging times. We will get through it, but there are definitely better and worse days.

 

And particularly now, as some places start to de-confine, the difference in rules, even between neighboring counties, is REALLY confusing, often contradictory and in conflict. My closest knowledge is about San Francisco, and France. San Francisco, which confined the earliest of many states and cities in the US has done the best, and gets a gold star, with incredibly low numbers of sick people and deaths (fewer than 100 deaths). And they seem to be planning to de-confine slowly, starting on June 1st on some subjects, if all goes well.

 

I chose the title on the blog today, because I think we are all dazed by the whole situation, worldwide, and how quickly it happened. 3 months ago our life was entirely normal, with vague distant rumors of some unknown flu ravaging China (which couldn’t affect us, right? Now they say it was already in the US in November and we didn’t know it, and thought it was just regular flu season) Less than 3 months ago, I was dancing at my son’s wedding and having fun. And there were vague rumors too a few weeks later, that people in Italy had the flu. And then ZAP!!!Fast forward a few weeks, and Holy Sh—!!!! What the hell happened? Two months later, we’re locked up, and it’s a pandemic. I never even knew that word 3 months ago. And I think we’re all confused by the constantly contradictory information we hear, some of it real, some of it well meant but inaccurate, and some of it just rumors that people spread, scare you to death, and turn out not to be true. The truth is scary enough, and I absolutely detest the people who spread rumors with delight, just to upset us. “Have you heard THAT…..”and then they tell you some horror, and you/I can’t sleep all night. What’s the point of that??? It’s irresponsible and vicious.

 

But even if you try to stay informed through allegedly reliable sources, newspapers, online, doctors, etc, what you hear is confusing. There are rules, laws and suggestions, not to be confused!!! In France, the chain of command is simple. You get the word from the President, with solemn pronouncements on TV, telling us we’re locked up for X number more weeks. For slightly less solemn announcements, the Prime Minister delivers that message. Until now, the rules have been the same for the entire country. Simple. You may not like the message, but you know what it is.  Now, in France, we have red zones and green zones, the green zones don’t have Covid, the red do. About 2/3 of France is green, without Covid 19.The US has 6 times the population of France, the country is huge, and the ‘rules’ are made city by city, county by county, state by state, by mayors, governors, and in some cases, the President. And many of the rules conflict and are contradictory, about the disease itself, and about what you’re allowed to do. From what I know, more than half the states are not under lockdown, some cities aren’t, others are locked down tight. Some cities are beginning to loosen up, others (like LA this week) are tightening up and slamming shut. Who is right? What’s the rule? In some places masks are required, in other places they aren’t, in some places they don’t wear them at all. What is safest for us, not to get sick? Wear a mask or not? Where and when and with whom? The directives between some of the US and France on that are completely opposite. Who’s right?

 

Hairdressers were forbidden in the beginning in France, now they’re allowed. All hairdressing salons are open. But in San Francisco, they are strictly forbidden. BUT in San Francisco anyone who does cosmetic procedures on your face is allowed: like Botox and all those shots and procedures that are so popular now. So it’s okay to mess with your face, at VERY close range with the person doing it—-but don’t touch your hair. (Personally, I’d rather get my hair done!!!). That makes NO sense to me at all. Gardening was forbidden in SF (Am I really going to get Covid 19 from my gardener, when they work out doors, usually far from people, and work alone?). Gardening is okay in France, and the ban on gardening has just been lifted in SF. (To me that seemed an unnecessary economic cruelty to gardeners who couldn’t work and make a living, weren’t dangerous, and were harming no one). One doctor in France told me to always wear a mask when you leave the house now. Another doctor in France told me don’t bother, not necessary. And I believe they are required in San Francisco now—-or ‘suggested’. There’s a difference. I think the root of a lot of the confusing directives is that they really don’t know. ‘Take your shoes off when you get home’ or, ‘Take off all your clothes and disinfect them and shower the minute you get home.’  (in the East of the US), don’t bother (in France), ‘the ventilation system will kill you and the air conditioning’ (said in the US), I haven’t heard anything about it in France. And why will seeing the hairdresser almost surely kill you in San Francisco, when it won’t hurt me in Paris? Who’s right? Hair salons are open now in France, but my hairdresser came to the house, he was wearing a doctor’s surgical gown over his clothes, something to cover his own hair, he wore a mask, a plastic visor over his face, eye guards, and rubber surgical gloves, and he insisted that I wear a mask and gloves too (he looked like an astronaut ready for a walk on the moon). So they’re not casual about it, although he may be more careful than most. In French stores at the moment, sales people are wearing masks and gloves, but clients don’t have to wear a mask. Why not? If they are, I should be too. I wore a mask on a walk yesterday, but almost no one else did (I saw 3 masks in all), and I looked like I was going to rob a convenience store. I don’t mind the rules, and I’m willing to follow them, but I wish they made more sense and were more consistent, and that you had the feeling that the people making the rules really know what’s best for us. And then there are whole countries doing things differently. Sweden has no confinement, Switzerland and Austria have reopened. France is starting to. I wish I knew what is really right and safest, so we can protect ourselves intelligently, wherever we are. Our world is confusing right now. And I don’t object to rules, and will follow them, but I wish they were more consistent and made more sense. (Several people I know in the US spend 2 hours washing their groceries when they come home from the store, they remove wrappings, take everything out of cartons, it’s a big production. But no one does that in France).

 

Some people say our world has changed forever (I sure hope not), others say it is temporary. No one knows the time duration. Maybe it will disappear as suddenly as it arrived, or maybe it will linger. I think it’s the uncertainty, of what will happen, what we should do, and how long it will last that is so anxiety producing. Some people love video conferencing, others say that their video meetings are lifeless and dead and much less productive. I find it MUCH harder to write, and to concentrate, in the constantly stressful atmosphere. But I hope and believe that our world will return to normal again. Some countries are almost there. It just feels like a very long time, but in the scheme of life, this has not been so long, only 3 months. And maybe 3 months from now, things will be immeasurably better, or even nearly normal again. It will certainly have been a very strange time. And in some ways it forces us to reconsider what matters to us, what is really important, and who we care about most.

 

Things are loosening up, or will soon in some places, the death tolls and numbers of sick are coming down in most places, after months of confinement, the curve is flattening….what lies in store beyond that, we just don’t know yet. We just have to keep plodding on, and hope that the rules and directives and laws and suggestions are the right ones to keep us safe. And that people follow them.

 

So if you’re dazed and confused, me too. We all are. And hopefully, we will come out of this unscathed. With no major losses. The light is there at the end of the tunnel, if I squint I can just barely see it up ahead. I’m not complaining, Paris is de-confining, and I went for walks in the fresh air this week, I saw a friend, and will see a few more next week,  confinement in isolation for so long was really tough. The sun is shining, I’ll go out later for a walk….and when I do, do I wear a mask??  Hang in, and have a great week!!!

 

 

love, Danielle

 

5/13/20, Deconfinement

Posted on May 13, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

How is it going? Are you in a State that is confined, or one that’s open, or sort of between the two??? Sheltering in Place is definitely challenging, and it is a real sacrifice to be deprived of other humans, the freedom to do what you want and go outside.

 

This is a Big Week in France. On Monday, the government eased up, and things are slowly loosening up. As of Monday this week, stores were allowed to open, florists, dry cleaners, businesses, and we are now allowed to go out with masks, social distancing and lots of hand washing or hand sanitizer.  We can have friends over or visit them, a maximum of 10 people.  I had been in confinement for 74 days, almost 11 weeks, nearly 3 months. It has been long and hard.

 

So Wednesday was my big day, we can go out now, so I walked down the street near where I live. I’ve waited for this day!!! I have longed for the ability to go out!!!

 

I hope you’re taking care of you, and following all the rules!!!

 

I have been working very hard on 3 new books. I hope you love them when they come out!!!

 

Take good care, see you soon, love, Danielle

4/20/20, Keeping Hope Alive

Posted on April 20, 2020

 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

Well, I don’t need to ask you what you’ve been doing this week, or if you’ve had a great, fun week, or tried something new. We’re all doing the same thing, around the world, sheltering in place, social distancing, I’m hoping that you’re not sick, and that neither you nor anyone dear to you has been affected. Right now, if you’re not sick, you’re a step ahead. I hope that’s the case!!!

 

I’ve never run a marathon, but I imagine it must be like what we’re doing now. You start out at a steady pace, maybe saving your energy for later, and then you run and run and run, and at some point it gets really hard, and you think you can’t possibly make it, it’s going to kill you, and if you have the endurance, you somehow make it to the end, and no matter when you cross the finish line, it’s a victory, even in last place!!!   I think we’re in the hard part now, the ‘Oh my God how long will this go on, I can’t do this’ part….. except you do, and you wake up another day (like Ground Hog Day), and do it again, and keep going, till the end. Childbirth is like that too, there comes a point when you think you REALLY can’t do it, you’re going to die. But you don’t and there is a HUGE reward at the end of that: A Baby!!! And the hard part doesn’t last long, some hours, a day, and you get your big prize!!! This is a lot slower, and longer, and the prize is that we will save lives by being confined.  It sounds like it’s easy to stay home. It’s not. Isolated, alone, or in small quarters, with family tensions, uncertainty, living with fear day after day, with NO idea when it will end, or if you or your loved ones will be affected, this is tough, and it takes a toll on us all.

 

I’ve been confined for 6 weeks, I got a head start by about a week. I have not left my apartment in 6 weeks. I have not jogged, gone for walks, been in the fresh air, seen my loved ones, family or friends, I’m isolated and alone far from home. I’m working and finding it incredibly difficult. Sometimes I’m scared, sometimes I’m okay. After I watch the news, I’m anxious for days. I wake up in the night and don’t sleep much. I talk to my kids a lot. I’m worried much of the time about my kids. I pray. I walk in the house and try to keep busy, I cry easily and am not a crier usually.  And it means the world to me when I hear from someone I love. This is HARD, for everyone, and for some people more than others, depending on the circumstances they are confined in. There are reports of domestic violence and child abuse. I’m comfortable, I have food, I can’t complain, but no matter where you are, this is tough, and it is stretching out with no idea for anyone when it will end.

 

There is a really grim side to this, I wake up every morning and check the “numbers” in the countries and cities where I have loved ones, of how many people are newly sick, the overall total, and how many died. We read it like the stock market or baseball scores. Numbers of deaths have become common place. It’s like a war. But someone’s loved ones are in those numbers. And if the numbers go down, it means we are beating the pandemic, and one day we will be free again. My heart sinks daily when the numbers go up.

 

In the beginning, I got floods of some of the funniest jokes and videos I’ve ever seen, and some cute ones. I notice that now I have not had a single funny joke email in a week. The initial laughter and good humor has stopped. I’m hearing very little, if anything from friends. People have stopped writing and talking, and in the past few days, everyone I’ve spoken to sounds down and discouraged, or on edge. On average, most people have been confined for a month now, and it is wearing on everyone. The hardest part of the confinement has begun as it stretches out. The part where you really have to use all your strength to keep your courage up to stay in it.

 

News from our governments, state, local, or federal, and pronouncements, is either delivered every 2 weeks or every 4. We wait for those announcements, hoping for good news, and release, like children wait for a reward.  In France, where I am confined, we waited desperately for the President’s speech a week ago. We had been fully confined for 4 weeks, our numbers (of newly sick) had gone down significantly, and I think everyone was hoping for an easing of confinement in the next 2 weeks. We had “done our homework” and were hoping for the reward. And instead of a gold star, we got a “That’s good, now try harder”, when we had already tried so hard. We didn’t cross the finish line, the marathon got extended. We got hit with another full month of confinement, and no reward. It hit everyone hard and discouraged everyone. The borders remain closed, and we remain fully confined at home. And we got an additional stern ‘punishment’. The President announced that “All ‘Elders’ will not be included in the ‘De-Confinement’ when it happens’. Period. That’s it. Done. An entire segment of the population will not be released when it finally ends. All ‘Elders’ were just disqualified from the marathon. Technically, ‘Elders’ (‘Seniors’) are anyone over 60, who at this moment are not allowed to leave their homes, can have NO visitors, see no family, even if they’re sick, and cannot go out. So a week ago, that entire segment of the population was told that they will not be released from confinement, indefinitely. It wiped out all hope for anyone over 60. And 60 year olds are being viewed as the same as 85 and 90 year olds, with other serious illnesses in old age homes.  People fully engaged in active life, running businesses, in good health were instantly condemned to become shut-ins indefinitely. There has been a huge, powerful reaction, from lawmakers that it is unconstitutional, ageist and discriminatory, from doctors that it makes no sense and is unnecessary, from psychiatrists claiming that it will cause a tidal wave of suicides. I suspect that plan will be dispensed with, but the mere announcement of it sent the country into a tailspin of additional depression, along with everyone getting an additional month of confinement.

 

In addition, people being notified by their employers that they have been fired, or had their salaries reduced long term not just for the confinement, by anywhere from 25 to 75% in the US, as the confinement extends, has added another layer of depression, and fear about the future.

 

One of the hardest things I have found are the rumor mongers. Since no one knows anything for sure, there are always a battalion of people anxious to pass on the latest terrible rumor as fact, and to forecast bad news. The truth of the pandemic is hard enough to swallow, without the bad rumors. There are several people who call me regularly to tell me the worst news they’ve heard, just in case I wasn’t worried enough already. They serve no useful purpose, and only make people more miserable. What’s the point of that?

 

Then there are the friends who have simply vanished, who assured one “you can count on me, I’m here for you!!” never to be heard from again, and don’t return a phone call. And in balance to that, the people you haven’t heard from in years, who call out of the blue to see how you are, which is really touching. And I appreciate the faithful friends who HAVE called and stayed in touch and reach out to me regularly mean more to me than they will ever know. They and my kids are what keep me going.

 

So, Friends, we’re in the hard part now. The lonely part. The endurance part.  The part where you think you’ve run as hard and as far as you can, and you find out that you have to run twice as far as you thought, over rough terrain, with obstacles that look insurmountable. But there’s no turning back now. We can’t give up. We just have to keep going, like childbirth or a marathon or anything really hard.  And we WILL get to the finish line!!! This will end at some point.

 

We can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, and it looks dark as hell out there, but at some point there will be a turn in the road, and we’ll be blinded by that bright light at the end of the tunnel, and we’ll be at the finish line. I have always found the saying to be true: “The night is always darkest before the dawn”.

 

The night is dark, the road is long, but we’re getting there, even if it’s grueling. And we WILL get there and cross that finish line, in every country. And let’s hope the dawn comes soon. Until then, we will continue on this marathon, and keep Hope alive. I particularly loved the Easter message from Queen Elizabeth II of England who assured us that this pandemic will not break us, and we will prevail. She said that her message was “to people of all faiths and none”—–so that’s all of us. So hang in, dear friends, and join hands in Keeping Hope Alive. We CAN do it, and we WILL.  Each one of us is tougher than we thought we were. And no matter what happens, or whatever the news, Have a GREAT week!!!

 

with all my love, Danielle

 

 

PS: Hours after I wrote this blog, and 5 days after it was declared, the French government cancelled the rule that had been proposed a week ago that No One over 60 would be allowed to go out, leave their home, or have visitors, even family, for an indeterminate amount of time, after Lockdown Confinement ended. It caused untold angst after it was announced, and Lawmakers, jurists, doctors, psychiatrists and the general public set up a general outcry that it would be illegal, unconstitutional, discriminatory (and inhuman/cruel) to uphold it. I am delighted to say that the proposal has been rescinded, and the rule cancelled. So when we finally get out of confinement in France, EVERYONE will be free, at their own discretion as to whether they go out or not, depending on their health. Freedom!!! I can hardly wait for that day!!!)

1/27/20, Writing and vogue.com

Posted on January 27, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

I am busy writing right now, in the meantime please check out this nice piece on vogue.com:

https://www.vogue.com/vogueworld/article/danielle-steel-at-couture-week-paris-history

 

Have a great week! love, Danielle

10/7/19, “A Little Crazy”

Posted on October 7, 2019

 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good week—-no bumps and all smooth sailing, with some fun thrown in for good measure. I worked hard this week, and worked straight through two nights in a row….so I’ve been busy (on new books!!).

 

Two things caught my attention this week, in a lighter vein, which make me wonder if the constant stresses we all deal with have made us hungry for almost anything to distract us. It’s hard not to take life too seriously with the pressures we are under, the uncertainties in the world—-we definitely need more humor in our everyday lives, and some people go to great lengths to find distraction and achieve it.

 

A friend told me this week that their new passion is “Escape Rooms”—–a while back I told you about “break rooms”, where people pay a small amount to smash a room full of old TV sets, dishes, and assorted breakables to get out their hostilities (better that than a mass shooting). Now apparently “Escape Rooms” are the new fad. Apparently, there is a theme, either horror or murder. There’s a ‘story line’—-someone is out to get you. You can go through the Escape room with up to four people, you get locked in, in the dark, and then have to escape a ‘murderer after you with an axe’, or a ghoul of some kind. You have an hour to “escape”, and you spend an hour scared out of your wits, running away from whoever is out to get you. It sounds crazy, but the people who do it love it and rave about it. I think I would have nightmares for a month, and trying to get out of a locked, dark space, with someone chasing after me would totally terrify me. Imagine doing that for fun, and paying for it. But maybe it’s better than crying over your taxes, moaning over your bills, fighting with your boyfriend or worrying about your kids. Trying to escape a man with an axe would definitely be a distraction!!! So that’s the latest fad. I am DEFINITELY not brave enough to do that. It sounds like kind of an abbreviated more terrifying version of the murder mystery weekends people were doing for a while, trying to figure out who the murderer is. Apparently “Escape Rooms’ are great stress relievers, although I think it would stress me more than real life!!!

 

The other story that caught my attention this week is another modern day phenomenon, and I’m not sure whether to be shocked or amused by it. I’ve often told you about the Paris fashion shows, which people in the fashion world in Paris, Milan, London, and New York, take VERY seriously. Fashion is big business today, and there is a lot of glamour, excitement and sophistication associated with it, and people beg to go to the fashion shows during fashion week. All of the shows are by invitation and the invitations are extremely hard to come by. And the Chanel ready to wear show in Paris is about as big and glamourous as it gets, as I’ve described to you before.

 

Well, this week, during the Chanel show, a young 28 year old comedian who considers herself a “Professional Crasher” somehow got into the building (the Grand Palais) where the fashion show takes place, she wore an old Chanel suit of her mother’s, a hat and platform shoes, and hopped onto the runway, and joined the parade of models walking down the runway. She was immediately observed, stunned the crowd, and marched right along like one of the models, until one of the models stopped her (the security men didn’t know what to do and were afraid to disrupt the show). Gigi Hadid, a famous model, blocked the crasher, I think 3 other models joined in, and they hustled her backstage and got her off the runway. The fact that she pulled it off at all is amazing, and I don’t know what the consequences were. (You can see the event on YouTube, Paris Crasher crashes Chanel fashion show, or something to that effect). Apparently she was vastly amused at the stunt, has crashed other events, and someone else crashed another show in Paris last week. Apparently the Chanel crasher decided that we all take fashion too seriously so she added some levity to it. It certainly must have been disruptive, and part of me is shocked—-but maybe this is how people are responding now to frightening world news, mass attacks, and all the things that frighten and worry us in today’s world, from climate change to how to protect our children in an increasingly dangerous world. Maybe that opens the door to people doing some seriously crazy stuff just for amusement’s sake, to take our minds, and theirs, off the serious stuff. No one was injured, she wasn’t protesting anything, she had no message to share, she just wanted to get on the runway of the Chanel show and to see if she could do it—-and she did.

 

I was editing one of my upcoming books this weekend, and came across something I wrote in the book: “No dream is too big if you believe in it. You can do anything you want if you try hard enough.” They seem like wise words—I’m usually wiser in my books than I am in real life. But it’s something to think about. And in the same book, “you have to be a little crazy in life”. There seems to be a lot of that around these days!!!

 

Have a great week—–not too crazy, but safe, happy, productive, and fun!!!

 

love, Danielle

 

 

8/5/19, “Some Like It Hot”

Posted on August 5, 2019

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a great, fun, and relaxing week. I hope you’re sitting on a beach somewhere, relaxing, or under a tree in the country, having some down time!!!

 

I’ve been whining a lot about the weather lately!!. I grumble all winter about the cold, wet, and sometimes even snowy blizzard-y weather, and am thrilled when the warm weather rolls around. Only this year, I’ve been in 2, possibly 3 just brutal heat waves. Two in France, and one in NY when I was flying through for a couple of days. Like childbirth, one forgets how miserable a heat wave can be. One kind of expects it in NY but it’s much more unusual in France. And this year in France, we had history making temperatures. One night at 4 am, it was 104 degrees, another day it reached 111, and there is almost no air conditioning in France, except in big hotels and supermarkets. It almost never would occur to me to check into a hotel, and I didn’t think of it this time—-but I will next time. Very few homes in France have air conditioning, you just don’t need it except in the South. And most buildings are very old (including mine), many buildings and homes in France are 200 or 300 years old, and it’s apparently very difficult to install. And landlords won’t let you put it in if you rent. Instead, many people have archaic machines (that look like a small refrigerator, it has a tube about 8 inches across, you hang the tube out the window, and supposedly it will eventually cool down the room. It actually works surprisingly well, but it’s not like the state of the art built in air conditioning systems in the US.  We put one of those in each room, and two good fans.

 

I have to tell you, the day that it was 111 degrees, I was melting. And I was worried about my dogs. I kept wetting them down all day and night.

There was one massive heat wave in June, and another in July, it was hot as blazes in the South of France, and when I flew to NY to visit my daughters there, it was close to 100 degrees. It was 95 degrees and then alarmingly close to 100   for the duration of my brief stay. When I landed in NY it Was 98 degrees, still in the realm of the bearable, though not by much.!!!

 

I actually wrote a book while I was boiling and suffered, but both books I worked on turned out well.

 

I’ve decided that I like the cold winter weather better after all. It’s a lot easier to dress warmly and add lots of sweaters under a warm coat, than to try and cool off in record breaking heat (the temperature during the second heat wave broke all records in France. I would have loved to sleep at my local supermarket!!!)

 

And by blissful contrast, when I flew in and out of San Francisco, to see my kids, it was the usual freezing San Francisco summer weather, in the 60’s in the daytime, gray and foggy and about 50 degrees at night…..heavenly!!!

 

I hope the temperatures won’t be too extreme wherever you are this summer!!!! keep cool!!!

 

 

love, Danielle

 

7/15/19, Precious Days

Posted on July 15, 2019

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you’re having a good summer so far, not too hot, not too busy, with some real time off to relax and take a break. I had my annual week’s holiday with my kids, and now it’s back to work for me. I’m working on three outlines, have a book to edit, and will start a new book soon. So the real vacation is over for me, except for a long weekend in August with my kids. I spend a week with my five youngest children in July every year, which I look forward to all year, and is the only real vacation I take. I have to admit that I miss the days when I spent the whole summer with my children, not working at all, but with their jobs and busy lives that’s not possible anymore, and I am grateful for the one precious week we share now. This was the first year that one of them couldn’t come, and it was an adjustment and we all missed her. I even take my three dogs, Minnie, Blue and Lili on holiday with us!!!

 

We spend the vacation in France every year, and the days pass too quickly. One of the things I love on our vacation every year is that I go to a tiny beautiful little 11th century church, tucked away, on top of a hill, with an incredible view of the sea. It’s a very special place, and miracles are said to happen there, or as a result of prayer there. It has a wonderful peaceful feeling, and I make sure to visit it every year.

 

Everyone swims a lot, relaxes, and meals are an important part of the day, where we get together and talk and laugh (and eat too much!!!). We play lots of Scrabble, liar’s dice sometimes, cards, and added dominoes this year, which was really fun. It’s interesting to share thoughts and opinions and different points of view, they keep me up to date on a Millennial perspective on life, and we all make suggestions that are sometimes very helpful with whatever we’re dealing with at the time. My children are ALL very different from each other, so it’s a whole range of thoughts and philosophies on life. Those who have them, bring their partners, which broadens the perspective too, on everything from health to politics, to the wishes and dreams we all cherish, or the disappointments they’ve recently gone through, or challenges in their jobs. They are all very generous with their opinions and advice, which is sometimes challenging, but always well meant, and most of the time helpful. The week we spend together is a wonderful break from the pressures of “Real Life”. Their jobs are as different as they are, so we all learn something about the fields in which they work (fashion, startups, sports, finance, and my writing).

 

I’ve mentioned before that I collect favorite quotations, and have since I was in my teens. I’m currently thinking of putting together a book of my favorite quotes (some from famous people, others anonymous, and even some by children). If I do it, it will come out for Christmas this year. It’s fun going through my favorites, trying to decide which to share. They inspire me in my life, and I thought it would be fun to share them with you!!!

 

Whatever you’re doing this summer, I hope you have a break for some relaxation and fun, on your own or with favorite people, travelling, or even close to home.  We all need a break from whatever we do, although I’m always excited to get back to work even after a short break. It energizes me to take a little time off. I miss my kids like crazy after our vacation is over…..but back to work, which keeps me busy!!  Have a great week, and I hope your summer is off to a wonderful start!!!

 

love, Danielle

 

 

6/17/19, Sunny Days After The Storms

Posted on June 17, 2019

 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good, healthy, happy, fun, productive week since I last wrote to you.

 

It turns out that my last blog to you was somewhat prophetic. It’s funny how timing works that way sometimes—when you read something or hear something that is exactly appropriate to whatever is happening to you at the time. My last blog was about the resilience of palm trees in a storm, how they bend right down to the ground sometimes, but always bounce back without breaking. It’s a good reminder that we bounce back from stormy times too. I’ve had a bit of a stormy week myself, with some fun times, and a really nice work party in my honor, given by one of my publishers, which was a warm fun evening I really enjoyed. And I also had my share of storms last week too, events beyond my control, which were less fun than a party in my honor!! Life happens, with the mix of good and bad, fun and not fun, and happy surprises, and less happy ones. Nothing serious in my case, just the stresses of daily life in a busy life. A close friend’s son is in the hospital—-those are the real storms in life, not the minor stresses that worry us. And none of us are exempt from the big and small storms in life.

 

Other than that, it’s been a busy week.  I’m lucky enough to be able to spend two days with one of my daughters this week, which is a real treat for me. We always have a good time together, and I’ll be seeing my other children soon, which is a real joy for me.

 

My British publishers are coming to visit me this week, which is always fun and exciting for me. They do a wonderful job for me in the UK!!! The books are beautiful, with great covers and do very well, and I love working with them!!! My American publishers are fabulous too, and I’ve just renewed my ongoing ties with my long term publishers in France—just like with Random House in the US, I’ve been with them since my second book, so we have a long, close relationship. And under new ownership and management, my French publishers have gotten fresh energy and ideas, and new people on their team. I’m very lucky to work with so many truly nice, hardworking, very creative people who are a joy and pleasure to work with. So that’s one of the happy spots in my life.

 

My new hardcover “Lost and Found” will be coming out in a week, which is exciting too. I hope you love it. It’s about a woman who, jarred by a minor accident (a broken ankle), some dissent with her adult children, and inspired by a box of old love letters she finds at the back of a closet, she takes off on a cross country road trip, from New York to California, to rethink her life and visit the three men she didn’t marry many years ago, and wonders if her decisions were right. She decides to see them for the first time in years and check it out, and she makes many discoveries about them, and others, and herself in the course of the trip, and the new people she meets along the way. It’s about finally putting the past to rest, and moving ahead in one’s life, free of the past at last. I like that idea and hope you do too, and that you enjoy the book. And of course, as usual, I’m working on new ones for you.

 

So here’s to a peaceful storm-free, stress-free week ahead. A REALLY good week, which we all deserve. A peaceful one with some happy surprises in it!!! I’m expecting good news and happy days for you and for me, for all of us!!! Here’s to sunny days after the storms!!!

 

Have a GREAT week!!! love, Danielle

 

4/22/19, New Book Coming: “Blessing in Disguise”

Posted on April 22, 2019

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that all is well with you. The Easter Bunny has come and gone, and both Easter and Passover provided warm festivities for many. I enjoyed a really nice Easter Brunch with half of my children, who were in the same city with me. I’m always grateful for holidays we can spend together. And I actually took 2 days off from a mountain of work. I have been buried in outlines for new books, a first draft of a new book, and some re writes and editing to do. It has definitely been busy!!!!

 

I enjoyed doing an interview with Glamour Magazine, for their online magazine, with a very nice interviewer and lots of interesting questions. And I really enjoyed having some downtime, even if it’s only a weekend!!! These days, non-work weekends seem to be rare for me!!!

 

Paris is still reverberating from the shock and sadness of the terrible fire at Notre Dame a week ago, but people are already focusing on restoration, with an astounding amount of contributions, some as large as 100 and 200 million dollars from major French luxury brands. I was told that Disney contributed 5 million dollars, which is generous and amazing. The damage to the Cathedral is immense, and it will undoubtedly cost as much to repair as people are contributing. I hear that the donations are close to a billion dollars, which is heartwarming. Notre Dame is probably the most important, most beloved and most precious of France’s national monuments, with deep significance to so many people, whether religious or not, and it will be comforting to see the restoration begin on the 12th century church which went up in a roaring blaze last week, and shocked and saddened all of France, and people around the world. The church is really at the heart of the French spirit and culture. Some important moments in my life happened in that church too.

 

I’ve been so busy writing that I haven’t had time to do much else lately. And I suspect this pace will keep up until the summer. I always feel a little out of touch when I’m so deep into my work. The few chances I’ve had to stick my nose out the door, it feels like Spring (which makes it even harder to stay in and write), but it’s nice to feel warmer weather, and see Spring outside my windows.

 

I’m beginning to dream of summer, and taking some time off, my kids visiting me in France for our annual vacation together (one VERY precious week), not writing for a little while, having the time to read other books than my own, and just relaxing and doing fun things, seeing friends.

 

I have a new book coming out at the end of this week, “Blessing in Disguise”, about a woman with 3 adult daughters—-each one by a different father, and how different these young women are from each other, how each one’s relationship to their mother is entirely different (often true, even with the same father. All 9 of my children are VERY different from each other), and the challenges they face in their own lives and with their mother. It seems like a very appropriate Mother’s Day gift!!! Mother/Daughter relationships can be so challenging, and bumpy at times, but we grow from the hard times too, and learn a lot about ourselves—–and our mothers!!! I hope you read the book and love it, and that it feels like the perfect Mother’s Day gift to you!!!

 

Have a great week, and I hope you get to do some fun things this week!!! (We all need that!!!)

 

 

love, Danielle

 

4/15/19, Notre Dame

Posted on April 16, 2019

 

Hi Everyone,

I hope that all is well with you.

With the greatest of sadness I am writing my blog to you, after watching Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burn today, its spire fall and its roof collapse. It is an exquisite iconic twelfth century Cathedral, symbolic of Paris, and France, and dear to most French people’s hearts. As I learned of the fire, I was flooded with emails from Europe, from the States, from Mexico, Hawaii, Paris, from people I barely know, from close friends, from my bankers, my children. It was truly a world shattering tragic event. The images were heartbreaking.

In this holy week before Easter, I am reminded again of the Resurrection, of the idea of Renewal, new beginnings of rebirth. Notre Dame Cathedral has had her crucifixion and trial by fire, and I can only pray that this deeply symbolic and beautiful church will rise from the ashes and have a resurrection of its own, with the help of all who love her, and honor all that she represents. Her spirit continues, and hopefully will continue for many more centuries once she is restored.

all my love, and may you have a peaceful week.

love, Danielle