In French, the holy grail of writing is finding le mot juste,
the word that fits perfectly, like a missing puzzle piece.
And that's where elegant storytelling begins.
What's in a name?
Since my last name is Shotwell, I believe my family's ancestors had remarkably good aim.
That's what I aspire to do in my speaking, writing and promotional work:
hit the bull's-eye every time, using the right words for maximum impact. Finding le mot juste.
RVA All Day
I'm a writer, educator, and RVA (Richmond, Virginia) devotee.
I've loved this city a long time, through all its growing pains, successes, and challenges.
I never miss a festival here if there's good food, music, and a diverse crowd.
I'm a VCU basketball junkie. I designed this shirt to celebrate some of the players with distinctive hair.
I dabble in acting (voice and stage), cardio classes, and promotion of Little French Books.
I decorate cakes as a creative outlet and to get my sugar fix (life is short - lick the beaters!)
Languages as a "secret code"
I compare learning a second language to solving a puzzle or cracking a secret code, with the purpose of turning strangers around the globe into friends. If you swore off language learning in high school or college, give it another go - it's incredibly gratifying, given the right context and commitment.
Fluency in French has helped me develop enduring friendships in Europe, Haiti, and Africa. My Little French Books project led to incredible opportunities for my students and for me in those places and supported literacy and language learning both locally and internationally. Through this project I developed relationships with humanitarian organizations, which taught me more about non-profits' needs and the concept of social entrepreneurship as a force for good in the world. Language acquisition may not be the key to saving humanity, but it certainly builds bridges!