Featured Image: Me in the South of France during my study abroad program in 2004-2005
In France and the US alike, as students return to school and the seasons change from summer to autumn, our focus shifts. Life takes on a new rhythm which coaxes us to look ahead and plan for the future instead of living in the moment of vacations and beach days as we’ve been doing. (For more on “la rentrée” or back to school, click here). While many celebrate Labor Day as a welcome break from work and classes, a last summer “hoorah,” I am also celebrating the one-year anniversary of publishing my first book: Pas Possible: Falling in and out of Love with France. Instead of looking forward, I am taking a moment to look back at the events that led up to its publication. If you’d like to get right to the promo, just scroll down to the last paragraph.
Many summers ago as I returned from my year studying abroad in France, I thought to myself: “this would make a really good book.” (To read more about the benefits of long-term study abroad programs, check out my article on Abroad101). However, I continued on with my life in Southern California working in the study abroad office and applying to masters programs on the East Coast. With a scholarship to NYU at the Institute of French Studies, I lived for a year with my nose buried in books until the program was over and it was time to find a job. What started out as an exciting internship writing a travel study guide for a French magazine ended up as a tedious full-time job managing subscriptions. What can I say? It was a paper magazine in the publishing industry: there wasn’t much funding. So I began writing for myself, at last.
What started as a delightful distraction during the workday at a job I disliked eventually evolved into an entire book. I never dreamed I would get the chance to be a writer in Paris, but when that opportunity magically presented itself (more on this later), I took it as a sign that it was also the occasion to finish writing my memoir. After all, what better place to write about France than in France? As I wrote at my little desk in our studio in the 10th arrondissement I could look out onto our balcony and see the signature Haussmannian facades of Paris (pictured above). When I needed a break, I would walk down Canal Saint Martin and stop in a cafe for un crème. I know I am so lucky to have been able to spend a year living in Paris writing about my French experiences.
All this reflecting has got me thinking about writing the follow-up memoir about my year spent writing in Paris. I have been gathering photographs and re-reading journals, and I think that soon I will be ready.
In the meantime, in honor of the first anniversary of the publication of my first book, Pas Possible: Falling in and out of Love with France, I am doing a Kindle Countdown which offers the book at a reduced price on Amazon for a limited time. Additionally, readers who leave a comment below about their favorite memory in France will be entered for a chance to win a free copy.
Bon courage! Good Luck!
© Jessica’s Franglais 2015