Archive for September, 2011

Author Interview: Lisa Pasold

Originally from Montreal, Lisa Pasold is a writer and journalist who now divides her time between Paris and Toronto.

She’s published two books of poetry (with a third forthcoming), a novel (with a second in the works), and written for numerous newspapers, magazines, and guidebooks including Time Out, Fodor’s, The Globe and Mail, and more.

In advance of her October 4 talk on travel writing at the American Library in Paris, I caught up with Lisa to get the inside scoop on writing, revising, and her many adventures abroad.

You write it all – poems, articles, travel pieces, a novel. What do you get out of each of these different types of writing? Do they inform each other in any way?

In some ways, they all come from the same impetus: I want to connect with the world, whether it’s through writing a travel article or writing a poem. For a while I worked as a music journalist, which was quite ‘rock & roll’ (you really have to say that with a French accent), and now I’m mining all my weirdest music & fashion stories for my next novel. So as it turns out, the different kinds of writing inform each other very directly!

You grew up in Montreal so were accustomed to living in a bilingual environment. Now you live in a French-speaking country and write in English. As language is our currency as writers, can you describe the role living with these two languages plays in your work?

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Fete des Jardins + Monday Music

Fete des Jardins, Chanzy Park

This past weekend was the 15th annual Fete des Jardins in Paris, a celebration of the gardens and green spaces of the city.

I had forgotten about the festival, so was pleasantly surprised to stumble into some festivities in my small neighborhood park.

The sun has been shining gloriously the past few days. Though the pile of projects is ever beckoning, I do what must be done when the oft-hidden sun appears: go outside and bask in it. Never know when it will be sunny in Paris again!

My friend Ericka and I went to have a quick catch-up in Chanzy park. There were a few booths set up for Fete des Jardins, but nothing spectacular. After about half an hour, though, musicians started streaming in from all sides.

Then a man who looked like he had just been lolling around enjoying the weather like the rest of us jumped up – the conductor! All of a sudden we were surrounded by an orchestra.

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Playing Dress Up

A few weeks ago, I noticed a Tweet from Melissa at Prete Moi Paris asking if anyone was up for a clothing swap party.

I had recently cleared out my closet in attempts to make space for my new roommate so I didn’t have much to offer. (Also, as my style favors comfy above all else I was sure no one would exactly be clamoring to get at my stuff).

I had a hunch that this was still something to go to, though. Melissa often covers fashion and I was just imagining what delightful threads she probably had. I emailed and said, I have no clothes, but I can bring food and beverages, that ok? It was. I was in.

Boy, did I luck out! It turned out to be just me, Melissa and Milla, another fashion blogger. And looky here – everything I tried on fit!

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New Essay Published!

Biker near St Paul metro

Hello hello,

Yesterday I mentioned a new essay accepted for online publication. Well, voila: it was posted later in the day! What a great gift for my Paris birthday to have a new piece published – and one about living in France, no less!

The essay, “An Alien Feeling,” helped me process some of the feelings I’ve experienced living as a foreigner in Paris. I wrote an earlier incarnation of the piece a couple years ago; my feelings of estrangement have lessened since then.

Still, the essay captures my experience at a specific moment in time. As you know from this blog, I openly discuss the ups and the downs of living here, the imperfect and the beautiful, too.

Head on over to Numero Cinq if you’d like to read the piece.

Have a great weekend!

Where the Light Enters You

Blast off to your dreams! (Or, at least, Menilmontant)

Today celebrates a happier anniversary than my previous post: my five-year Paris birthday. Half a decade of living in the City of Light. Wow!

Everything I said last year about my Paris birthday still stands: I’m grateful for the adventure. Life is imperfect. The imperfect can be beautiful.

This year it’s kind of an interesting confluence of events. Yesterday I received the convocation to appear in divorce court. The date will be October 10.

Though I’ve been making my way and getting stronger every day, that letter definitely did a doozy on me. It’s not unexpected, it is the next step in the way forward, but it still sliced through my heart. To face the reality, the final decree.

Then again, think of what shines through where I am pierced.

“Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.” –Rumi

Continue reading ‘Where the Light Enters You’

A Decade Hence

Today I’ve been sniffling, both from a first autumn cold and from crying on this decade anniversary, high on everyone’s mind. I knew I’d be reflective, but I didn’t think I’d be quite this emotional. I am.

Ten years ago I was a new New Yorker, having just moved back to the city of my birth a few weeks prior. On September 10 I was in the plaza of the World Trade Center watching the Trisha Brown Dance Company perform. My dream at that time was to dance and I was quickly taking advantage of all the city had to offer.

I looked up at the Twin Towers and thought I should go up to the top. I decided to save it for the next day, however, as I was returning in the morning for an audition in the area.

The next day, of course, was September 11. I never made it downtown.

Continue reading ‘A Decade Hence’

paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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