Rambling thoughts…


What happened in Paris on Friday, November 13th shocked me to the core.

I was getting ready to go out with a friend and when we postponed, I sat at the computer and saw what was going on.

The horror.

And I texted my family to make sure they were safe, that no one we knew was at the soccer game, that my dad didn’t take my nephew there like they’ve done before because they love soccer and we live close by. I remember going with my Dad years ago to watch France against Scotland in that stadium.

And I cried. A lot.

On that day and the days that followed, I cried. And I called home. And my husband hugged me a lot.

I reached out to friends who I knew were in Paris, and to friends who I didn’t know if they were in Paris that evening or not.

They were okay. But people died. Families will never be the same.

Like they died in Lebanon, like they die in Syria and many other countries. I knew it, but I didn’t realize what this meant.

Seeing Paris like this…it became real. And it’s sad to say this, that before, I hadn’t realized, I hadn’t wanted to realize because the pain is strong.

Maybe, it’s because every single time I went back to Paris, and sat in a cab to whatever business trip I was going to, a wave of happiness came over me, a wave of memories, of my childhood, of admiring and loving this city. Friday night in Paris, for me, is all about chatting about the world, laughing, drinking wine and eating. It’s going to a concert, or to a soccer game.

And I’m sorry that it took something so close to make me realize more bitterly what millions of people are going through every single day.

I had no words. And I still don’t have any answers.

I took a step back from social media because what I saw and keep on seeing there angers me, it also makes me sad, and it scares me. The hate and simplistic answers scare me. The judgement, the spread of lies. There should be a button called “have you fact-checked this before liking, commenting, sharing?” on Facebook…and then there should be another one that says “are you sure, are you really sure you want to do this?”, “I understand you’re scared, but that’s not the solution.”, “And if you’re not scared, then what’s your reasoning because I don’t get it. And if you’re scared, maybe just say you’re scared instead.”

Seeing the news about Muslim people being attacked in France in retaliation sickens me. It scares the shit out of me to see how people can react with so much hate towards innocent people, like the ones they’re claiming to fight.

I don’t have the answers, I don’t know the answers, but I know my answer is not and will not be to spread more hate. It will not be to change who I am, and what I believe in.

Otherwise, they win.

And who is they? They’re not religious. They’re not representatives of the religion they claim to be killing for. They kill anyone.  Sophie Aram said it better than me: “You only have to be alive and free to be a target of those assholes.” (her words in French in the video below resonate a lot with me).

They kill and don’t care who they kill.

Terrorism has no religion.

Terrorism has no fucking religion.

I don’t know if I believe in God, but I still remember how after one evening of catechism, our Priest told us that it was better to behave according to our values (helping people, being kind, forgiving…) and not be a believer, than to come to church and not follow those values.

I wonder if those values are remembered by those who claim themselves to be religious.

The refugees who are coming to Europe, they’re fleeing this violence, this hatred, those people. Shit, are we so quick to forget that little boy who drowned, whose face had become a reminder of our duties as human beings? Is there a risk? Of course, there is. Just like there’s a risk in Europe itself.  After all, most of the attackers were from Europe.

The mastermind they’re looking for right now is from a middle class family, raised in Belgium, was not religious, was a petty criminal…

There are idiots everywhere, they are bad people everywhere. And people looking for a place to carry on heinous acts because they want to.

I am grateful for the policemen and everyone risking their lives for us.

I think this standing ovation at the National Assembly from politicians from all parties was a strong message.

I’m grateful for the rally of support near and far.

I am grateful for the ones who continue to make us smile.

There are problems that need to be addressed, problems within France, within the European Union, within the international community. This much is clear and can’t be denied. This much is true. Countries all around the world suffer from terrorism. Innocents are being killed every single day. But division is not the solution.

I believe in “Liberté, égalité, fraternité.”

I believe in Voltaire, and Zola, and Hugo…

I believe in humanity. There were acts of kindness, acts of courage.

I believe in critical thinking and am grateful for my high school professors who encouraged me to think, to question, to analyze. I’m grateful for my parents for leading by example.

I don’t know what we should do. What answers we should give.

But what I will do is that I will not make rash judgments. I will research, read in the languages I know to gain a broader perspective.

I will continue to read the uplifting messages coming from thousands of people, coming from people who have lost someone (like this man who lost his wife and mother of his child), coming from people who remind us how wonderful we all can be.

I will continue to think.

I will continue to try to make someone smile every day.

I will try to be better.


My word for 2015

I have set some blogging and reading goals for 2015, and I have also some personal goals like “take care of myself and be gentle with myself” as I highlighted for the #12DaysofBooks organized by YA Buccaneers.



For the few past years, I’ve also chosen a word (or words) for the year. In 2013, it was PERSEVERANCE and ENJOY. In 2014, I chose BALANCE.

And both in 2013 & 2014, I wrote things that still resonate quite a bit with present Elodie.

  • In 2013, I wrote “But…I also need to fully enjoy the happy moments like those ones. I need to not be afraid of what could come and look forward to what I can make happen.”
  • And in 2014, “Another element is to let go of the things I cannot control and of the negative talk (–> this one is really tough). You know the one I am talking about: “I should have had, I shouldn’t have had, it shouldn’t be, it will never…

I  need to let go of whatever I cannot change (yes. feel free to sing Let It Go, I know I am :P)

My word for 2015 is PRESENT  (it’s the same as Katy’s. I probably could have copied her entire post on that one) and I think it encompasses what 2013 & 2014 Elodie wrote in this blog. I want to be present in the moment, I want to really pay attention, I want to enjoy the laughs fully, I want to pause and give my full attention to the little moments that make the big ones, and the big moments which are made of so many little ones.

I want to be present.

Do you have a word for 2015?


Looking back…2014…

Button looking back

There are still a few days in 2014 and what a year it has been, both personally and professionally.

In 2014, I announced my decision to self publish and I published two books, I am so thankful for everyone who’s supporting me in my writing journey. Thank you! ❤

The Hubby and I traveled to Malaysia, to Texas…I had a lot of business trips. I quit my job as a press officer and we moved back to the US. What a year it has been!

I remember reading Katy’s blog about her year in review where she used pictures to highlight her year. Loved it. So I thought, this time around, I’ll try something a bit similar.


Happy, happy new year! And a Galette des Rois tradition 🙂 I also blogged about my word for 2014, which was balance.

  • Macarons…yum and the 40th birthday of my brother in law!
  • A lovely & romantic Valentine’s Day weekend by the Loreley
  • Signed copies of the lovely and talented Rebecca Behrens (for my niece and me)

Annnnd I announced my decision to self publish!

2014-02-11 Psshhh I have some pretty incredible news…

  • Getting into the habit of jogging early (5 a.m.) at least twice a week (should get back into it)
  • And another business trip in Paris followed by much needed family time.
  • On the blog, I called for people to join my UNNAMED BUT YET AWESOME team…to help me in self publishing ONE TWO THREE and I am so grateful for the lovely ladies who joined me!
  •  The hubby and I went to see a Klitchko fight…we were SO close to him!
  • We traveled all the way to Malaysia. The Hubby had a business trip there and I joined him after a week for holidays. We discovered Kuantan and then went to a gorgeous resort…it was amazing and surreal!
  • On the blog, I revealed the cover of One, Two, Three with the help of many other bloggers (thank you!)
  •  My sister and her family visited us in Germany
  • The Hubby ran his first half marathon
  • I received the proof copies of One, Two, Three

Published my first book


  •  Business trip in Aix-en-Provence
  • The World cup of soccer, still can’t believe I wore a German hat!
  •  Wedding anniversary 🙂 10 years together and 3 years married…there are not enough words to express how much I love him and how lucky I am!
  • Another business trip, this time in Paris
  • A fun weekend with the family in France
  • Turning 33 🙂
  • Moved back to the US!
  • Quit my job as a European Central Press press officer in July and my last day at work was in September. Definitely bittersweet.
  • The cat transport company forgot to pick up our Peter for his flight to the US and our big international move, so I stayed one more day in Frankfurt.
  •  We spent a bit over a month living at the hotel…where our boxes started to arrive.
  • We had our first tornado warning which Peter the cat and I spent in the bathroom, the only place without windows in our hotel room.
  • And…One Dream Only came out!
  • We bought a house! And moved in!
  • We celebrated Thanksgiving in our new home 🙂
  • Finally got my Maryland Driver’s License after some adventures
  • We decorated our home for Christmas 🙂
Peter The Cat

And because I took a looooot of pictures of our cat, Peter, I thought I’d do a little slideshow of his year 🙂

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Tell me, what is your best memory of 2014?

Books, personal, What´s Up Wednesday, writing

What´s up Wednesday? The Happy Anniversary edition :-)


What´s up Wednesday is the brainchild of Jaime and Erin. It´s a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join, make sure to leave a link to your What’s Up Wednesday post in the widget on Jaime´s blog or Erin‘s blog.

What I´m reading

Only a few pages in and loving it!

What I’m Writing

I am outlining ALWAYS SECOND BEST. Outlining, me? I know it sounds crazy. But I´m basically just getting to know my story even better before diving into the drafting.
I am using OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL to learn and so far I can already feel my story getting better even before drafting!

What else I´ve been up to

Finalized the paperwork for the visa and made our appointment with the Consulate for the beginning of September. Crossing my fingers.
Celebrated my 33rd birthday on Monday and it was lovely!
And…prepping for my first #Selfpub Corner post this Friday (to know more about it, you can click on the little button :-))
#Selfpub corner button

What inspires me right now

My husband and our anniversary.

Together for almost 10 years, married for 3…and so so happy!

As I wrote in One, Two, Three’s acknowledgements:

Thank you to my husband, The Chemical Engineer, Alex, (I had another nickname here but he kind of made a face when I mentioned it would be in the acknowledgments…so I’ll just keep it to myself :-)). I would need to write an entire series to explain how amazing you are, and I’m not even sure I could find the words. Thanks for believing in me. Always. (And for taking care of everything while I’m typing away).

I love you!


I can’t wait to check all your posts and see what you’ve been up to 🙂

personal, Photography

Discovering Malaysia…in pictures (part 1)

I’ve been in Malaysia now for over a week, enjoying the sun, the beach and the discovery of another culture, of different traditions…We met a lot of very nice people and I sometimes can’t believe how lucky I am…And I get to experience all of this with my husband 🙂 We’re flying back to Germany tomorrow…

Here are a few pictures (I’ll post more once we’re back home and I can play with them a little…)

Some were taken during our road trip, one during a river cruise and the others from a trip to a local market.

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personal, writing

My WiP drives me insane and keeps me sane (and other writerly truths)

This sign now hangs over our computer…

Not too long ago, Katy Upperman wrote a post entitled My WiP is Making Me Fat (& other writerly truths). I loved this post so much, that I decided to make the same type of list.

My WiP drives me insane and keeps me sane. This revision is draining me out and is going sooo slowly. Sometimes, I want to hide away from it  but mostly the entire process keeps me sane. It gives me an outlet, a way to express myself and get lost.

I always feel like my English isn’t good enough…As it’s my second language, I freak out about the small things and second guess myself. All. The. Time.

A few years ago, I posted my first query for my first manuscript on AbsoluteWrite without having researched much. And thought it had to be great. I’ve learned a lot since then.

I want people to fall in love with my characters.

I want to move people with my words.

I daydream about having more time to write.

I don’t outline. But I think I should learn how to do it.

I write in the train during my commute and sometimes wake up at 4.45am to get more writing in.

Sometimes, I ponder about my publishing road, i.e. what would be the best for me?

Not many people know about my writing.

I have the most talented writer friends. Really. They’re amazing.

My writer friends help me stay grounded.

My husband believes in me and encourages my writing. I am so thankful for him.

What are your writerly truths?

personal, Photography

Frankfurt-Paris-Toulouse-Paris-Stuttgart…my week in images

Hello! First of all, let me tell you : “I missed you!” and I missed writing. I haven’t written/revised in a week and my fingers itch to get this story in shape.

From Monday through Friday, I lived out of my suitcase and was very busy work-wise. Here’s my week in pictures…

My suitcase for the week…
YUM! being in France means eating pastries…
Walking to a business dinner. The view was magical
After loooonnng and stressful days, relaxing by myself with food, wine and a book
On Thursday morning, I had to be at the airport at 7am. Coffee. lots of coffee.
And on Thursday night. More food and some alone time.
On Friday, I got back to my husband and brought some macarons with me.

How was your week? 

personal, Photography

Fall feelings…And enjoying a wonderful weekend!

Falls isn´t officially here yet, but Fall is definitely in the air…

The decorations are out.


The weather is changing slowly…

I had a really wonderful weekend. On Friday evening, we went to a wine festival that´s tucked in the park right by our place. The food was delicious, the smells yummy and the wine delicious.

I revised a bit on Saturday…

My hubby participated in his first 10k race today. It was a lot of fun and I got to take lots of pictures…



The leaves are slowly turning yellow and falling…


We went to “our” restaurant to celebrate, the one where the owner–who is an older lady–knows us and stops by our table to chat a bit.

I am thankful and happy.

How was your weekend?



personal, Photography

And back from vacations…(with lots of pictures :))

The Chemical Engineer and I had a wonderful time in the South of France and in Tuscany, saw gorgeous cities, relaxed, enjoyed a few drinks, a day on the beach, laughed…

And I used my camera. A lot. Here is a selection of pictures.

Hope you´re all doing well and enjoying the Summer!

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