Posts Tagged 'French history'

Guest Post and GIVEAWAY: Time Traveler Tours: A Phoenix Rises

Phew! This past month teaching creative writing in Barcelona has been intense. The program wrapped up yesterday, the end of an exhilarating, exhausting, and amazing ride. I was inspired by imaginative students, learned my way around a vibrant city, made new friends, reignited my love of Spanish language, doubted myself then grew in confidence: Wow. I am really doing this!

I hope to share more soon, but there’s a lot to process. In the meantime, I’m happy to have a special guest on the blog today. I’ve known Sarah Towle mainly online the past couple of years and “watched” as she developed a new app designed to bring French history to life for young people. I got the chance to catch up with her in person at the Paris Writers’ Workshop, where I was a presenter right before I left for Spain. (Did I tell y’all about that? So many exciting things this summer!)

Sarah is here to tell us more about her journey and to offer FREE DOWNLOADS of her app to three lucky winners. Thanks, Sarah!

Time Traveler Tours: A Phoenix Rises

Sarah Towle of Time Traveler Tours

Mine was an (im)perfect beginning in every sense of the word. On the one hand, it was Paris. With its iconic sites, belle vie and bonne cuisine, not to mention limitless opportunities to access history and culture, what was not to like? On the other hand, the French authorities made themselves perfectly clear: As the trailing spouse, I would be forbidden to seek work in my profession. In fact, I would not be allowed to work at all.

My reaction? They’ve got to be kidding!

I refused to believe they were serious. This was the globalized 21st century. I had 25 years experience, much of it international. I had impressive degrees, having studied and worked at major universities around the world, and great recommendations. And I’d been brought up to believe that with a positive outlook, some good old-fashioned ingenuity, and as much perspiration as necessary, anything was possible. I was certain that, given time, I’d be able to make the right connections and find my way around, under, over, or through their laws.

But I was wrong. French bureaucracy is a truly formidable foe. In the end, it wore me down. It turned me prematurely gray. I gave up, threw in the towel, raised a white flag, but I would not surrender in defeat.

If I was going to work, I would just have to start over.

It never occurred to me to blog. Instead, I took the more traditional route. I decided to write a book. I would combine all my experience, passions, knowledge, and skill as a language teacher, expat, mother, historian, and world traveler to write a new generation of travel guide for the next generation of traveler.

It would be a mash up of the Horrible Histories and The Lonely Planet, a kind of American Girl Series, but for historic destinations and targeted to a slightly older crowd.

Called Time Traveler Tours, each chapter would be a voyage to a different era – starting with the history of Paris – in the company of a narrator/tour guide whose actions helped shape their time. In addition to a cool story, readers/users would be compelled forward on a custom itinerary thanks to treasure hunts, games, and puzzles related to the sites visited along the way.

Continue reading ‘Guest Post and GIVEAWAY: Time Traveler Tours: A Phoenix Rises’

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***Giveaway!*** ‘The Discovery of Jeanne Baret’

What do we ask of a book? That it offers escape? Adventure? Teaches us something new? Transports us to a different time and place? Makes us feel wonder at the human experience?

The Discovery of Jeanne Baret: A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe promises to do all those things.

I had never heard of Jeanne Baret, the daughter of illiterate French peasants who, in 1766, disguised herself as a teenage boy in order to join the first French expedition to sail around the world.

Not surprisingly, I’m not the only one. Jeanne Baret’s accomplishments have mostly been lost to history – until now. Author Glynis Ridley played historical detective and meticulously pieced together the intriguing story of this remarkable woman.

I’m pleased as punch to be able to give away TWO FREE COPIES of this book – consider it my little holiday present to two lucky readers.

Glynis is the tenth author I’ve invited onto the blog as part of my interview series. To mark this ‘decade’ of posts, I’ve asked Glynis herself to tell us a bit about her book. (And to be honest, I hardly knew where to begin with the questions! The role of women in 18th century France? The birth of botany? The tale of disguise?)

As this is a Paris blog, I’ve asked her to give us a taste of Jeanne Baret’s experience here. I have only just started diving into Glynis’ book, but can already tell it is expertly researched and an elegant narration of a truly fascinating subject. As you can see by her guest post below, she packs in a lot of information.

As for Jeanne Baret’s full story, you’ll just have to read the book. Details about the giveaway at the end of the post!

Continue reading ‘***Giveaway!*** ‘The Discovery of Jeanne Baret’’


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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