Alysa Salzberg

Alysa Salzberg
Paris, France
December 31
Writer, copy editor, translator, travel planner. Head servant to my cat.
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


Alysa Salzberg's Links


Maybe it’s Brassawe’s recent fascinating, engrossing posts about some great literary works and writers, like this one about Jane Eyre adapted to film.  Maybe it’s heidibeth’s recent Open Call about favorite things.  Maybe it’s my having… Read full post »


                                  See, loving you is like a battle,
                                 And we both end up/
Read full post »
JUNE 8, 2011 4:31AM

Insomnia Poem

No fear is quite like

a cold 5am question

when you've nowhere to go

and nothing to do

but scratch your skin,

hoping it's like an itch

that will go away  Read full post »

JUNE 6, 2011 9:27AM

Some Thoughts on Animal Fashion

A recent search for pearls has brought something very troubling to the surface of my life, and a suprising read has me contemplating wearing rat skulls in my hair ….

But let me start at the beginning:

For many of us, in one way or another, one of the… Read full post »

This week's Fiction Wednesday prompts were either to do your own thing, or to write a story that included the words "chance", "encounter", "umbrella," and "sewing machine".

Some of you might recognize those words as coming from a famous description of Surrealism being like "the chance encounter betwe… Read full post »

MAY 30, 2011 3:37PM

War Stories

I have a difficult relationship with warfare. 

War involves most of the things I fear and hate: suffering, death, inhumanity, despair, pain, cruelty, deprivation, oppression….  The list goes on, of course.

When I watch war movies or series, I rarely think of glory – rather, I… Read full post »

MAY 27, 2011 1:53PM

Revelations from the Drought

Every time we return home from a visit in a sunnier corner of France, my boyfriend complains, “It’s raining again.  That’s Paris for you.” 

But now the rain has gone. 

We’ve spent weeks under unusually sunny skies, and, the last two days, under clouds th… Read full post »

As some of you know, Fiction Friday has undergone some major changes.  One of the biggies is that it's now Fiction Wednesday.

You can find information about this, as well as prompts and a list of stories for each week, at the new blog I've created (with former Fiction Friday heads Rita/
Read full post »

MAY 23, 2011 8:33AM



About seven years ago, a guy I was dating took me to A.’s birthday party.  From the minute I saw her, vivacious and warm, I knew she had to be my friend.  I did what I could to make that happen, and I am so lucky to say we’re… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 20, 2011 12:24PM

The Automat on the rue de Wattignies


When I write about Paris, it’s often in praise of older buildings and monuments.  It’s hard not to do that, since this 2000 + year old city is like a time capsule, especially for my favorite era, the Belle Époque.  But there are many modern c… Read full post »
MAY 19, 2011 5:43PM

Crushed Moth


                                                  Why did you

Read full post »

As some of you know, Fiction Friday has undergone some major changes.  One of the biggies is that it's now Fiction Wednesday.

You can find information about this, as well as prompts and a list of stories for each week, at the new blog I've created (with former Fiction Friday heads Rita… Read full post »

I don’t really cotton to politics. Mainly because they depress me and make me feel powerless.  When it comes to the news, I prefer to burrow deep into celebrity gossip, which is mostly inconsequential and rarely, if ever, makes me overly sad or afraid for the future (the popularity of the… Read full post »


Every year the Eurovision Song Contest comes to TV’s across Europe.  And every year, like a perpetually thwarted cartoon villain, the French have a foolproof plan to win.

The contest began in 1956 as a friendly competition between European nation… Read full post »

When I watched the royal wedding a few weeks ago, several things surprised me, some even more than my ability to finally and easily let go of my secret dream that William and I were destined for each other (even the engagement ring he gave Kate looks like a ring I… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 10, 2011 11:51AM

My Parisian Year



 June: Peasants Harvesting Crops, with central Paris in the background, from Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry


And suddenly, spring is falling away to summer.

After being away from Paris for three weeks, it’s amazin… Read full post »

Over the last few months, we fans of fiction here on OS have had a real treat, with Fiction Friday Open Calls.

Two weeks ago, Rita Bourland, the person who resurrected the tradition, announced that she was taking a break from OS, and Naomi de Plume graciously took up the… Read full post »

MAY 7, 2011 9:02AM

Last Minute Mother's Day Gift!

For those of you in the US, Mother's Day is tomorrow.

Now, some moms are pretty easy to shop for. Or maybe you give or do the same thing every year, to Mom's infinite joy.

But if you're in a pickle about a fitting gift for M-O-M, I have a… Read full post »

MAY 6, 2011 10:54AM

Fiction Friday X: Heart Troubles


Fiction Friday lives!  

Rita Bourland resurrected this weekly event a little over two months back, and a bevy of great stories have resulted.  Rita is taking some time off from OS, and with her blessing, Naomi de Plume and I (and anyone else who’d like to he/Read full post »

MAY 4, 2011 12:17PM

Magic Trip




Just what is it about the Harry Potter books and movies?  A story about a kid going to school to become a witch or wizard isn't new.  When I was young, for example, one of my favorite books was Worst Witch by Jill Murphy.  Stories about discovering magic/… Read full post »

MAY 3, 2011 1:11PM

My Nose at Home

In my normal state, my sense of smell has been described as “acute”.  I think that if you put a hidden camera in our apartment, you’d find I’m a poor man’s Francine Fishpaw, sniffing things and reacting strongly to odors of all kinds. 

But these last three wee… Read full post »

Well, I did it!  Yesterday, at around 11am, I translated my last recipe in celebrity chef Cyril Lignac’s book La Cusine de mon Bistrot.

I think it says a lot about my love of all things involving sweets and pastries that the "Desserts" section of the book was by far the easiest… Read full post »

Rita Bourland has resurrected Fiction Friday.  This week, Rita gave a sixth prompt to all of us interested in doing some creative writing.  Either you could write whatever you want, or you could write a story involving a garden, a birth, and a pie. I opted for this promp/Read full post »

APRIL 7, 2011 10:38AM

A Visa Victory! And Other Good News

People live abroad for many different reasons. But whether you settle in a foreign country out of preference, a need for protection, love, or a better life, it’s never completely easy – and no matter how much you feel at home, someone out there is always ready to remind you how… Read full post »

APRIL 5, 2011 10:37AM


On February 20, this non-foodie embarked upon an unexpected mission: the translation of French celebrity chef Cyril Lignac’s cookbook, La Cuisine de mon Bistrot.  I figured it would make a unique gift to give my father and stepmom when we see them two weeks from now.

I knew from the… Read full post »