Alysa Salzberg

Alysa Salzberg
Location
Paris, France
Birthday
December 31
Title
Writer, copy editor, translator, travel planner. Head servant to my cat.
Company
www.alysasalzberg.com
Bio
A reader, a writer, a fingernail biter, a cat person, a traveller, a cookie inhaler, an immigrant, a dreamer. …And now, self-employed! If you like my blog and if you're looking for sparkling writing, painstaking proofreading, nimble French-English translation, or personalized travel planning, feel free to check out www.alysasalzberg.com.

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MY SHORT STORIES AND OTHER CREATIVE WRITING ON OS
Editor’s Pick
JUNE 29, 2012 1:36PM

Repost: The Hardest "Easy" Thing I've Had to Do

 

Yesterday, Poppi Iceland's Open Call about our immigration stories got me thinking.  As I looked for posts I'd written about my ancestors' immigration to the United States, and mine to France, I came upon one that still made me feel indignant.  When I got onto OS today andRead full post »

JUNE 27, 2012 7:45AM

Friends I’ve never met

 
 
“I pretend that we are the oldest and dearest friends, as opposed to what we actually are.” 
 
– Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan), “You’ve Got Mail”

 
 
Lena Dunham knows me.

We’ve never talked, and I’m pretty sure she doesn… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JUNE 24, 2012 9:02AM

Fascinating memoirs by two people you may know


 
two books
 
 
Recently, I’ve read two excellent autobiographical essay collections.  And they happen to be by people you very well may know….


If you’ve been on OS for even a short while, you’ve most likely encountered Linda Seccaspina.  You kn… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JUNE 20, 2012 9:32AM

Brooklyn pizza comes to Paris…sort of

 
 
 
Before I begin, a disclaimer: I’m not saying French food is bad.  On the contrary, there are many French dishes that I love.  But even when you live in a culinary mecca, and appreciate the native cuisine, over time, you will probably find yourself craving comestibRead full post »
 
 
title 
A street in Dijon 
 
Even though I’ve lived in France for the better part of a decade, I still get so excited about traveling in this country.  Except when it comes to Lyon.

I first visited the city a few years ago, when the… Read full post »
JUNE 14, 2012 12:33PM

In the Cards

 
 
A few weeks ago, a calm Saturday afternoon turned into a frantic search.  We threw clothes out of armoires, rifled through files of documents, pulled pockets inside-out, desperately looking for a single laminated card.   The fact that the boyfriend had somehow misplaced his UG… Read full post »
JUNE 11, 2012 7:39PM

The World's End

 
 
Photobucket
 
 
 
the world’s end 
wasn’t when the light of a faraway malevolent star
shot forth to touch earth
like a seething spear,
but rather in the days before,
when we knew there was no solution
to what would come.
no bodies had been instantly incinerate… Read full post »
JUNE 8, 2012 11:56AM

Big deal

 
 
A student read the first paragraph.  The rest of us followed along. When she’d finished, I defined words and answered a few questions.  Then another student started reading the next paragraph.  

An indentation, and two words: “Big deal.” 

I felt s… Read full post »
JUNE 6, 2012 8:46AM

Why I like opera

 
Photobucket
 
 For James Emmerling
 
 
Telling people you like opera is tricky, because it often makes you sound like a pretentious jackass.  But I'm going to say it: I like opera. 
 
How do you know I'm not a pretentious jackass?  I hope posting the follow… Read full post »
JUNE 2, 2012 6:47PM

Set Design

 
 
 
There I was, in my blue dress printed with white flowers, the short flowing sleeves a bit reminiscent of fairy wings, the cinched waist that perhaps evoked a corset.  I hadn’t been sure about the length of the skirt, but it fell just right with the twenties-style black… Read full post »
 
 
 
donny montell
Lithuania's candidate, Donny Montell, sings "Love is Blind"...blindfolded.
 
When I first heard about the Eurovision Song Contest, an amicable competition in which each European country sends a musical act to represent it, I imagined an evening o… Read full post »
MAY 25, 2012 11:24AM

Beat



I had no students today, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have been working.  On days like this, my company allows you to ask for one-time sessions with any clients who want to do extra hours or intensive courses. There aren’t always these kinds of teaching slots available,… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MAY 23, 2012 7:06AM

ASH - All (kinds of) Stories Here

 
 
 
 
collected short stories vol 2
 
 
Last Friday, I wrote about the one-year blogoversary of the OS Weekend Fiction Club.  A few days later, I finished reading a book by one of its regulars.

Allen “Skipper” Howlett, known here on OS as ASH…, is a hard w… Read full post »
MAY 18, 2012 9:07AM

How long has this been going on?

 
 
I’m having a hard time believing it, but it’s been a year since I posted the first weekly writing prompt on the OS Weekend Fiction Club blog.

I’m not the person who came up with the idea of creating weekly fiction writing prompts here on OS. I have no idea… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MAY 16, 2012 7:43AM

Should "bully" be in our vocabulary?

 
 
 
I’ve always found it intriguing that the French have no word for “bully” or “to bully”.  Not “bully” in the Teddy Roosevelt sense, 
 
 
tr 

Epatant!
 
 
but the ubiquitous &ld… Read full post »
MAY 11, 2012 11:05AM

Before Mother's Day

 
 
I didn’t think about the date when our friends Juliette and Arthur called to see if we wanted to get together. We met them in Montmartre last Sunday, a week from Mother’s Day, to stroll around and have a drink.

For most of the six years I’ve known… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MAY 8, 2012 1:05PM

Out on a limb: An OS meet-up in Paris!

 
 
It’s always nice to read a post or get a PM from OSer Out on a limb, but the message I received from him a few months ago was especially cool: He and his family would be coming to Paris in early May, and he wanted to know if we… Read full post »
MAY 6, 2012 2:51PM

France has a new President!

 
 
 
 
f cool
François Hollande casting his (pretty important, considering how close the race was) vote. (image source
 
 
There are times when all of France fairly hums with enthusiasm, speculation, and hope.  Today was one of those days.

The seco… Read full post »
MAY 5, 2012 7:00AM

Cohabitation



"Listen carefully," he said, "this won't be easy for you to hear".

“What is it, Dad?” 

“Your mother’s being held hostage.”

Most people might gasp or react in some alarmed way to this, but knowing my mother like I did, I wasn’t overly surprised, although I… Read full post »
APRIL 29, 2012 5:38PM

Open Call: Your ultimate love story

 

 

The other night, the boyfriend and I came upon a documentary about a group of French high schoolers who were selected to put on a performance of "Romeo and Juliet" in one of Paris' most prestigious theaters.

Hearing the play performed in French, I realized once again how much… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 26, 2012 1:40PM

Jay-Z, Kanye West, and the French Presidential Campaign

 
 
 
“So,” the boyfriend said, when the results were announced last Sunday night, “are you going to write about the first round of the elections on your blog?”

I told him I wouldn’t.  For one thing, politics really isn’t a subject that interes… Read full post »
APRIL 25, 2012 7:38PM

In New York

 
 
 
button 
 
My boyfriend bought me the coat for Christmas two years ago.  Its military style and high collar are the embodiment of an aesthetic he loves.  As for me, I liked the coat’s length, and the fabric it’s made of, warm enough to wear in win… Read full post »
APRIL 23, 2012 1:46PM

What Does "Nationality" Really Mean?

 
 
What is “nationality”? It’s a question I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. 

From the late nineteenth century, up to the mid-twentieth, my ancestors came to the United States.  For most of them, I imagine it was a decision inspired by the hope of a b… Read full post »
APRIL 19, 2012 1:06PM

Four Generations

 
 
At the Chinese restaurant,
we pose for a photo
positioned in a sort of pyramid.
i am at the bottom
my father leans over my left shoulder
and you are at the top, smiling broadly,
the last one of your generation.
your face a pale oval, like mine.
Editor’s Pick
APRIL 16, 2012 9:23AM

Bows, Arrows, and Historic Underwear

marche 1 
 
Like a good number of people involved in historical reenactments, my boyfriend has acquired some pretty impressive skills, such as Napoleonic-era wooden button creation, or early 19th century French army pants-  and-jacket-  making.  But there are some things/… Read full post »