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.

MY RECENT POSTS

Alysa Salzberg's Links

PARIS STROLLS
MY SHORT STORIES AND OTHER CREATIVE WRITING ON OS

 

 When Lea Lane told me she was going to be in Paris in early August and wanted to get together, I was excited.  But I have to admit, once the initial excitement died down, I also felt a little nervous.  Lea, after all, is a world-traveller who seems to have done it… Read full post »

AUGUST 5, 2012 3:15PM

Rough to the touch

muirwoods

Dwarfed by soaring sequoias in Muir Woods 

 

Imagine the tree*

that I could touch

without fear

its rough

bark

unriddled

with insects,

my skin ready

for the feel

of its lines and mine

interlocking,

afterwardsRead full post »

JULY 30, 2012 8:24AM

The Word and the Wasp

 
 
There were several reasons why attending my boyfriend’s cousin Cyril’s* wedding wasn’t going to be easy.  There was the problem of getting there (like many French weddings, it was held in one of the future spouse’s native villages, far from any kind of publi… Read full post »
 
 
My first winter on OS, I posted about some of my new favorite things – that is, things I was into then, that weren’t necessarily long-time favorites and might or might not continue to be on my radar. I asked people to make a list of their own new favorites, and… Read full post »
JULY 19, 2012 12:06PM

A Culinary Quest in Siena

 
siena 
 
 
It’s strange the things you remember about a place.

I first visited Siena almost exactly twelve years ago from today.  While my tour group and I probably spent more than 24 hours there, my recollections of the city are fleeting – yet surprisingly… Read full post »
JULY 17, 2012 12:51PM

My home

 
 
My home 
 
Unbeknownst to anyone, dreams were all my mother understood.
Inside her, they were what nourished me.
My truest home
was where dreams were strongest:
books and movies, paper dolls and Barbie,
the thousand untold stories of hotel rooms.

In Paris,
that’s… Read full post »
JULY 15, 2012 7:28AM

A difficult love

 
 
 
villa view 
 
I spent last week in the countryside with my extended family, doing something as close to camping as it will ever get for us.

And it’s not really close to camping at all: vacationing in a rented Tuscan villa lost in the mountains about… Read full post »
JULY 6, 2012 12:16PM

Cat social calls


 
It's amazing to me and the boyfriend, but not everyone wants to have our cat Ali stay at their house.  Not even if he's looked at them like this:
 
 alibedroomeyes
 
And so, whenever we leave on vacation for more than a day or two (in which… Read full post »
theraven 
 
 
In an early scene in the movie The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe, played by John Cusack (more on that later…) bets that at least one patron in a Baltimore tavern will know how to finish a line of his poetry.  The fact that the person who/… Read full post »
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 »