I love the French language! In high school I took French for four years and two years in college. We received new names in the classroom. The French name for Nancy is Nanette. During my years of mental anguish, I used to tell people that my name was Nanette and then go into a little speal of speaking in French just for fun. When I first wrote my book, it was about a woman named Nanette. All that changed when I felt the need to portray my character from the perspective of the writer which, of course, was “moi”. My editor, God Bless her, had the daunting task of changing every me, my, she, her, us, we etc. into the first person, I. Wow. Thank God for Microsoft Word 2010 where word replacement is a snap!
There was something else about the French language that transformed my life when I was at an all-time low…..okay, there were MANY all-time lows over the years but this was my second one. I was attending Kent State University right out of high school. That is when I walked into a classroom and met a woman who undoubtedly changed the course of my life. Her name was Mademoiselle Evans and she was my French professor. She was very pretty, always dressed beautifully and was passionate in her work. I adored her. Her tests were hard but that was part of the challenge! I remember learning the words to “The Answer is Blowing in the Wind” and singing it in front of the class in French. It was beautiful. I wish I could write it for you but too many years have passed by so….when I meet up with Mlle. Evans again, I will let you know how it goes. Anyway, I was a manic freshman at Kent State. Loud. Boisterous. Obnoxious. You get it? I was HIGH every minute of every day without the use of drugs. Everything revolved around me. People could tell me off (which happened often) and it wouldn’t phase me in the least. I’d just laugh! LAUGH LOUD like everything else I did. But with the HIGHS come the LOWS and in a matter of months I was there. In a deep dark negative mindset that I could not get out of. I suddenly was unable to go to classes. I suddenly was unable to do much of anything. I tried desperately to make it to my French class. One day I walked in and it was time for a test. I sat silently looking at the blank paper in front of me and looked up at Mlle. Evans and with a quick glance she saw my pain. I know that she wondered what was happening and after class while she and I rode an elevator together going down a few flights I told her I wanted to end my life.

I was so scared. I was SO scared that I was going to complete suicide that I knew I could not go back to my dorm room so I asked Mlle. Evans to do the unthinkable…..I asked her if she could take me home to her house with her husband and two small children and spend the night so I could be safe. She thought for a few seconds and then answered “yes”. She saved my life. For it was not long afterwards that she called my Mother and said “If you don’t come get your daughter, you will not have a daughter.” Thus, one of my deeply anguished songs was birthed……with the chorus simply written from God’s perspective “No, No Nanette…….I’m not ready for you yet…..”