Diana Paul | Retirees Reinventing Themselves

What follows is an inspirational article by my friend Diana Y. Paul that appeared in the literary journal Women Writers, Women's Books. Having previously written three books on Buddhism, Diana published (She Writes Press 2015) a highly-praised debut novel, Things Unsaid. Ranked #2 in  the “Top 14 Books about Families Crazier Than Yours,” Things Unsaid was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. 

Struck by how many other women were reinventing themselves after retirement, she interviewed a number of authors. The overriding consensus?  Yes, Virginia, there is life after retirement...a fulfilling life, at that. Read on. 

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Barbara Donsky
'Loving Vincent': Oscar Nominee for Animated Film

In the summer of 1890, in the small country town of Auvers-sur-Oise to the west of Paris, Vincent Van Gogh stumbled up the main street one evening, a bullet lodged in his stomach. The artist had a troubled history—the incident years earlier when he cut off a part of his ear is well-known—but it remained a mystery as to why and how he was shot. A regular whodunnit.

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Barbara Donsky
New York, New York: It's A Wonderful Town

If you’re ‘desperately seeking Paris’ in New York, how best to welcome in the New Year?  À la française, of course, with a soupçon of French style and elegance. So off we went, my companion and I with our dear friends in tow, to Michael White's French brasserie on the Upper East Side, the wonderful Vaucluse on Park Avenue.

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Barbara Donsky
C'est si bon: the Simone

In a small townhouse on East 82nd Street, a few steps off Lexington Avenue, we discovered ‘the Simone,’ a charming restaurant with wonderful food and excellent service. What's in the name, I wondered. It seems that 'the Simon'e derives its name from the fabled Chateau Simone outside Aix-en-Provence, a chateau that has been in the hands of the Rougier family since 1830.  May 'the Simone' be equally treasured.

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Barbara Donsky
Cartier: Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend!

It was a grey morning, thunderstorms predicted for the afternoon, when a full-page advertisement in the Wall Strreet Journal captured my fancy: 

You are cordially invited to The Cartier Haute Joaillerie Exhibition at the Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion at 52nd Street. For the first time ever in the U.S., the largest collection of Cartier High Jewelry will be showcased in this open to the public exhibition.
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Faces Places: C'est Merveilleux

A film quite unlike any other, “Faces Places” will steal your heart.  A combination of a buddy road trip and a character study, this documentary stars the almost 90-year-old legendary filmmaker, Agnes Varda, and the photographer and muralist, JR, who is slightly more than one-third her age and an ‘enfant terrible,’ a naughty boy who began his career as a graffiti artist on the streets of Paris.  A wonderful team, they delight in one another’s company, in the townspeople they meet along the way, and in the creation of art.

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Barbara Donsky
Majorelle: Bienvenue à New York

It was a night to celebrate, so we took ourselves off to Majorelle, which opened in March in The Lowell hotel on the Upper East Side. Charles Masson, who for forty years stood at the helm of his family’s old-style French restaurant, La Grenouille, has launched this dazzling new French with Moroccan touches in the space previously occupied by The Post House, an old-line steakhouse.   

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Barbara Donsky
Calling All Francophiles!

Would you like to hang your hat in Paris? Stay not for a week, but for a month, a year or a lifetime?  Many of us have fallen in love with the beauty and culture of the city, and some have stayed love enough to understand the charms of the lifestyle enjoyed by the French.  One who did just that, living on a houseboat on the Seine, is my friend Roni Beth Tower, a She Writes Press author, whose recently published article follows. Read on and enjoy!

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Beth Beauchamp
Le Moulin a Cafe

One of the great things about being a flâneuse, one who loves nothing better than taking in the passing scene, is that there’s no end to the surprises -- neither in New York or Paris. So, it was the other day while running errands, when I was brought up short at the sight of Le Moulin à Café....

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Barbara Donsky
Goodbye, Summer, Goodbye!

**Apologies if you have received this email twice - we had a small glitch with our first attempt!**

Goodbye, Summer! It was a shock to my inner-gardener when I stepped out onto to the terrace this morning to find the straw-hat season packing up, moving on. Without so much as a 'by your leave'. How did this happen?

It seems that only yesterday we were celebrating the Fourth of July, anticipating a bounty of Long Island corn, the sweetest corn in all the world. Looking forward to plucking a few juicy New Jersey beefsteak tomatoes off the vine. Cracking open a batch of Maryland crabs. Turning a humble breakfast into a feast with a Connecticut cantaloupe. And tossing a couple of Maine lobsters on the grill for an easy dinner. 

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Barbara Donsky
At the Guggenheim: The Book Fairy Strikes Again!

Hello and welcome back Guys and Gals!

I hope your summer was refreshing to body and soul, whether you were at-home or abroad, at the seashore or in the mountains. Mine was spent in front of the computer screen, happily researching and writing another memoir. Why leave home if you’re having such a good time?

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Missing Mother: International Bestseller HarperCollins Canada!

Hello Guys and Gals!

When I signed off for summer a week or so ago, I had not anticipated so much good news coming my way. First there was the selection of Veronica's Grave as a New York Public Library TOP PICK for Summer 2017, followed days later by the breath-catching news that Missing Mother, the Canadian version of Veronica's Grave, had made the Bestseller List in Canada during its first week in the stores. When I asked my editor at HarperCollins Canada if that entitled me to call myself a 'best-selling International author,' his response was: Absolutely! 

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New York Public Library: Top Picks!

I'm honored that Veronica's Grave: A Daughter's Memoir made the 2017 summertime reading list of none other than the New York Public Library! The list is comprised of the top picks of librarians throughout the library system. That my memoir was selected by the head librarian at the exciting new Bronx Library Center seems most fitting as I was born in the heart of the once Beautiful Bronx where "the best people live."

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Beth Beauchamp
La Maison du Chocolat: Choc is Chic!

My thanks to those who have inquired as to why there have been so few posts of late. In years gone by, I've taken a break between Memorial Day and Labor Day, as it’s not as much fun bopping around the city in ninety-degree weather, but I always pause to say goodbye, something I’ve not done until now for a number of reasons.

What's the story?

Mainly, it's that I’ve been hard at work on another book, which I hope to finish this summer, a preoccupation that has left me with little time for seeking out French style here in the city. And, more importantly, my favorite wining and dining companion has been under the weather of late. That said, the ‘Comeback Kid,' currently in rehab and not enjoying the cuisine at all, should be fit as a fiddle by the Fourth of July. All of which calls for a celebration, one that this year includes the publication of Missing Mother by Harper Collins Canada. Hooray! Hooray for the Comeback Kid!  Hooray for Harper Collins! Hooray for Canada celebrating 150 years of harmony on July 1st!  Hooray for Missing Mother! And, lastly, hooray for you and me!

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Barbara Donsky
To Dress or Not to Dress...

It was a brilliant summer day, the temperature climbing into the 80s. Entering the dining room of Café Boulud, I wondered if the air conditioning was working. It wasn’t cool enough for me, but then few New York City restaurants are.  Having lived off-and-on in Florida for fifteen years, I can vouch for southern expertise in turning an overheated dining room into a chilly igloo, at the flick of a thermostat. And doing so night after night.    

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Barbara Donsky
You've Gotta' Be French

One of the seldom-mentioned pleasures of being a published author is meeting other published authors. And the day I had lunch with the convivial Sande Boritz Berger, author of The Sweetness, an award-winning memoir of guilt and survival, was no exception.  

Where should we go?  

It’s gotta’ be French!

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Barbara Donsky