All posts tagged: Janet Hulstrand

Janet Hulstrand

The importance of being interesting

Writer, editor, writing coach, France aficionado, and family friend Janet Hulstrand produced a delightful little book earlier this year entitled Demystifying the French: How to Love Them and Make Them Love You. Having just finished this advice manual for travelers and others interested in living more successfully with the French, I found Janet’s take on how to understand these sometimes curious, somewhat frustrating, occasionally mystifying, but always interesting people to be delightful, informative, and useful all at once. I also found that Janet had—either on purpose or unwittingly, I’m not sure which—captured some wonderful life lessons from her observations about the country she’s now observed and come to love as a visitor and resident for some 40 years. The book is written as if you are sitting by the fireplace with a wonderful French wine and a good friend who is giving you a crash course before you venture out on your first trip to France. Janet’s writing is clear and, as one reviewer put it, “breezy and digestible.” She begins with five essential tips for “even …

Armistice Day

Hearing the Voice of God

My friend, the writer Janet Hulstrand, lives in France, where she makes observations on literature and life.  On November 11th, she wrote a wonderful blog post entitled, In France, It’s Still Called Armistice Day. Janet begins her post as follows: “The war memorial in our little village in Champagne is much like the war memorials found in every little village in France I’ve ever been in: on three sides of the base are carved the names of those who gave their lives “pour la France” during World War I. And on the fourth side, the names of those lost in World War II. The German invasion of France in 1940, just 22 years after the end of World War I, was achieved with stunning speed.  And forever after the French have endured shallow, frivolous jokes about that defeat, which was of course anything but funny.“ Those who make jokes about French resistance (or lack thereof) are usually right-wing blowhards who generally did everything in their power to avoid military service.  But as Janet notes, the massive …

Writer's Block

Wise women writers you probably don’t know (but should)

(Note:  This post was updated on March 10, 2018 and again on June 27, 2021. I would never write a post this long today, but consider this a creature of its time.) I came to a realization last evening that the writers I most enjoy reading on the web are (almost) all women. And once I came to that realization, I began thinking about my favorite writers you probably don’t know, but should.  Five names quickly popped into my head and just like that, this blog post was born. These women are very different, but there is wisdom to be found in each one’s work.  I have regular communication and interaction with three but have met all five. Three are teachers (and one of the three teaches writing in Hawaii, Havana, Paris, and Washington — I’m assuming she doesn’t get paid much, but there are other benefits!). One is a former colleague at work who is still early in her craft. The other is my former Rector.  All five make a living — one way …