Exxon Provence and Meeting Jane

Oct 29, 2004Write!

Yesterday, we drove three drippy hours to Aix en Provence, which to Aidan sounded quite like EXXON Provence. We met up with our friends who are church planting in Paris and were in Aix on holiday. Although it rained the entire time, we made the best of our time by visiting a castle in Louberon. What was hilariously funny about the trip is this: This was the exact location and castle where the book L’Annee de la Mistouflon was set!

This was the book I had to read (in French) to Aidan and try to decipher why there was a beast called the Mistouflon, why children ATE tobacco, and why the Mistouflon was always crying. It was fun to roam the castle (away from the rain) and talk about the book with Aidan. He ended the trip by buying postcards for his teacher. I wish I could take credit for masterminding this adventure, but I can’t. It was just the Lord’s glorious sense of humor to take us to an obscure castle in an out-of-the way town and surprise us! We didn’t find the fabled Mistouflon, but we did find laughter.

Today I met Jane–a fellow writer–over chocolate chaud (hot chocolate). It was a breath of fresh air to speak to another writer devoted to the craft, who penned English prose from the Riviera. In another interesting turn of conversation, one of the first things she said to me was, “Have you heard of the snowflake method?”

“I know the guy who wrote about it–Randy Ingermanson,” I said.


“Yeah, he was a speaker at a writer’s conference I attended last year. We’re friends.”

It was a lovely coincidence–to see how God weaves the world together in such an amazing way.

My friend Sandi, who is my writing mentor, shared with me long ago that if one wants to create believable fiction, one better not have coincidences too unbelievable. Of course, coincidences and happenstance are fine for non-fiction. And yet, I can’t help but think that God is all about weaving His redemptive story around and through me, bringing my family delight even in the rain, or connecting me to a new friend through the writings of an old one.

In the rain, but with a smile,