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Month: November 2017


Although Bleu didn’t come over on the Mayflower, he snuck in under a pilgrim chapeau on a subsequent trip.  He was fleeing persecution for his beliefs, which are “I get whatever I want, whenever I want.”  Thanksgivingly, his new home has enabled Bleu to live his lifestyle choice to the fullest.

For your reading pleasure, here’s an article which appeared this week in the USA Today with a picture from fellow author and expat Jeff Steiner:

Thanksgiving in Europe: Good luck finding a turkey and all the trimmings


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French License how-to

My book French License isn’t a how-to. It’s a humorous memoir about an expat trying to cope abroad. Half the book is about other funny things that happened along the way.
However, going through the experience the hard way has made me a bit more knowledgeable than the average California bear.  So, I’ve been asked to give presentations to fellow expats who are just as stuck as I was, and looking desperately for solutions.  Do I exaggerate ?  A few stats about the process:

‘Code’ written test has a lower pass rate than the NY bar exam

Costs more than 2 new iPhones

Takes longer than the Voyager 1 trip to Saturn

A good dozen people attended my presentation « Getting your French Driver’s License » last night at the American Library in Paris.  There were horror stories, and a glimpse of hope from some who were approaching the grail.
I’m happy to share the PDF of the presentation for those who couldn’t make it.  Simply add your e-mail below, and let me know you’d like a copy.

© Copyright Joe Start. All rights reserved. © 2017


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my journey

There was a good turnout on a chilly Friday night in Paris to hear my story about my story “French License.”  How I got the book in the right format, to distribute on marketplaces.  How I secured a professionally designed cover.  How I chose print-on-demand services.  How I knocked on the doors of dozens of independent bookstores to get hard copies on shelves.  What I did to promote, and what’s coming next in the process of marketing and selling the book.  There was also a hint of projects under works which should see the day soon.

It was great to hear all the questions, and learn where other writers are at in their author journey. At some points it was like a really cool brainstorming session on what other things I could do to build interest.

Warm appreciation to Paris Creative Writers and their fearless leader Gray for sponsoring.  Thanks to the Louvre Anticafé for hosting.

For future events, please visit this page:



Tales of Brave Ulysses

Wonderful reading event last night with drinks and conversation at the Librairie Ulysse!   I counted about 20 folks at one point.  It settled down to a solid dozen for both readings.  I read chapter 32, and my actress wife read chapter 5, both en français for the very first time.  Thanks to Aurore for the ‘theatralisation’ of the readings, making them more akin to a performance.  This must have influenced the public, which bought a couple copies of French License!

We brought mulled wine, expecting a chilly evening.  Rain showers were even predicted at one point.  Never fear, it was mild and dry outside, with clear skies exposing a near-full moon.  A wonderful night to be out, walking the bridges between the Ile Saint-Louis and the Ile de la Cité, and the bright moon floating above Notre-Dame.

Huge thanks to Catherine and Dominique for welcoming us to the Librairie Ulysse!  People were enjoying themselves so much, the duo delayed closing time for two hours past the schedule!  We finally pulled ourselves away from good conversation at 11 p.m.

For future events, please visit this page:


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