On August 15 when I posted this, I had no idea what would happen.


It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Actually, not true. I was prepared to hear crickets. I was prepared to field a few emails written by bored bloggers who were either in traction, prison or stuck on an unexpected ten hour layover. I couldn’t imagine anyone else would be interested. Because if there is one thing none of us need in these modern times, it’s the “opportunity” to hop onto another person’s band wagon. We all have our own band wagons, each one fully loaded with a symphonic ensemble that travels the Interwebs day and night, trumpeting out our brands and beliefs, our passions and platforms.

But I had this book coming out, and I wasn’t up to the root canal-grade agony involved in shilling the thing, and thought it would be much more fun to try to create the kind of genuine connection to which the internet, at its best, lends itself. And who better to rally around than Julia Child, who has inspired generations to both cook and tap into their joie de vivre?

I felt the need to sweeten the deal, so in addition to promising folks posts, tweets, retweets, linkage and love, the blogger who best captured what it was like to savor life the Julia Way would receive a signed print of one of the whimsical illustrations from Julia Child Rules, chosen by illustrator and fine artist Mark Steele.

Mark Steele illustration small

The illustration from Rule No. 5, “All You Need is a Kitchen and a Bedroom”

I’m not sure whether people wrote with the hope of winning this illustration, but it seems like once they started living like Julia the joy of the endeavor took over. Check out the beautiful results here on Pinterest.

My mother used to say that clichés are merely proof that some things are true most of the time. Truly, it was difficult to choose the “best” blogger. Pretty much every post was well-written, engaging, and eye-opening. One high school aged blogger, inspired by Julia’s love of letter-writing, got herself an Irish pen pal. One frazzled mother of a tiny infant tried to learn to be amused amid the chaos of everyday life. Bloggers lived like Julia while traveling in Paris and Italy, testing recipes for vegan Hollandaise sauce, and recovering from being thrown from a horse. One of my favorite blogs was written by a resolute non-cook. One writer chronicled her attempt to “live with abandon” after her husband recovered from surgery for a rare form of brain cancer. That one brought me to tears.

But the writer who really brought it, who focused every day and in every one of her posts — and there were many — on her rule of choice, Rule #3 Learn to Be Amused — who dug down and analyzed what it actually means to be amused, and incorporated the pursuit of amusement in her life and on her blog, who has a great mind, heart and a hell of a sense of humor (she was once a stand-up comic) is Eufemia Fantetti.

Eufemia Fantetti

“I come from a long line of ‘the wine barrel is half empty’ folk.To be clear, I’m not implying that my ancestors had a drinking problem (not all of them, anyway) only that the poverty they endured in Southern Italy had an impact on the psyche that filtered down to future generations. I think this explains why you won’t find a copy of “Chicken Cacciatore for the Soul” in any bookstore. Self improvement versus survival against the elements? Tough call.”

Eufemia is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at SFU and the University of Guelph’s MFA in Creative Writing. Her fiction, nonfiction and playwriting have been published in the anthologies ContoursBeyond Crazy, eye wuz here and Fish 2012. Her work has also appeared in AccentiEvent and Open Minds Quarterly. She is a winner of the 2009 Event Magazine Non-Fiction Contest, the 7th annual Accenti Writing Contest and was a two-time finalist for the Theatre BC National Playwriting Competition. Her writing has also been nominated for the 2010 Creative Nonfiction Collective Reader’s Choice Award. Her essay, Alphabet Autobiografica, was listed as a notable essay in the 2009 Best American Essay Series. Mother Tongue Publishing will be releasing her short fiction collection, A Recipe for Disaster & Other Unlikely Tales of Love, in November 2013

Congratulations, Eufemia!



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