Posts Tagged 'friends'

Happy Thanksgiving!

As we speak, this wonderful, witty woman is making + baking a Thanksgiving feast.

Good times at my birthday

(To avoid confusion, I’m referring to the woman who is not me in the picture, of course. You know by now, yes? I don’t cook or bake. I am very thankful others do!)

Molly is my fabulous American friend who is hosting Thanksgiving dinner tonight with her French partner. I think it will mainly be French people, which is why the feast doesn’t begin until 8 PM. (Don’t they know you’re supposed to eat and drink all day?! Well, it is just a regular Thursday here, I suppose.)

No matter, this allows me more time to reflect on what I am thankful for.

Continue reading ‘Happy Thanksgiving!’

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Aux Deux Amis

Last night I met up with two of my favorite Paris bloggers – the awesome Amy Thomas of God, I Love Paris and the wonderful Erica of HiP Paris Blog.

Amy and I share the same feeling of being both blessed and cursed to have such strong affinities for New York and Paris. On the one hand, spoiled for riches to have intimate true love and knowledge of two incredible cities. On the other, heartache, because we’re forever torn between the two.

Amy moved back to New York in January and believes the decision the right one. She also said the adjustment has been difficult. From what I’ve heard, repatriation can be even more of a shock than first moving to a foreign country.

What did Thomas Wolfe say? You can’t go home again.

Well, you can, but you are different. Home feels different. Once an expat, the very notion of home becomes complicated. It’s no longer just a fixed location, but an evolving, fluid concept, one that changes how you interact with the world. It reaches right down to your very identity.

Continue reading ‘Aux Deux Amis’

Un Tel Travail

Inspired by all this talk of New Wave cinema, I attempt a photo that looks like a film still

Sometimes I have to pinch myself I feel so lucky. Specifically, I am blown away by the talents, gifts, and brilliance of my friends. How the heck did I end up with such amazing people in my life? I am blessed.

My friend Ericka has been my partner in crime for the past several months. Both of us spent the better part of summer and fall locked away, each with our own writing project underway. We’d check in with each other, making sure the other wasn’t going stir-crazy and insisting on tea and cupcakes if they were.

Today, I witnessed the fruit of Ericka’s work: she defended her 577-page (!) dissertation on “L’Amour, La Femme, et La Nouvelle Vague” before a jury who are experts on the subject. She was officially conferred the title of “doctor” 3 hours later.

Whoa.

Did I mention Ericka’s a native Texan and wrote her dissertation in French? Did you notice that page count? Could I defend anything in another language, much less before people who consider it their special domaine? I had to smile when her advisor talked of love as a “French specialty.”

Well, I don’t know about that, but the French do know how to intimidate.

"Thesis Room" - Take a seat

Notice that one chair behind the big table, facing the jury? There sat brave Ericka, with 10 of us watching the proceedings. I have no idea how it works in the States, but I didn’t know a defense could be public in this way.

I am grateful to have been allowed to witness it. I had tears in my eyes when the jury conferred the title on her. And it motivated me to continue my work. (Yeah, one of us was much more productive as she locked herself away).

Well, I have just finished the first draft of a 45-minute lecture I will have to deliver for my graduating residency. The critical thesis is already done. Hopefully soon I will get back to the novel.

The desire to accomplish something – to finish! – was definitely heightened in me today. But more than anything, I feel grateful to have such awesome people in my life. (Did I mention this is the same friend who’s also a singer-songerwriter and purveyor of honky tonk in Paris?)

Bravo, Ericka! Kick-ass in every way.

The newly crowned doctor with well-deserved bottle of champagne

Travel by the Books

Before the Reading (Upstairs at Shakespeare & Co)

Hello all,

I’m pleased to report that my interview with writer Janet Skeslien Charles that first appeared on this blog was republished in a neat online literary journal called Travel by the Books.

Literature + travel. What could be better?

Feel free to check it out again if you’d like.

Speaking of travel and literature, it’s my last full week in Paris before flying off to the States for a full month. So I’m leaving my hermitude behind for a bit and getting out and about the city before I leave.

Notre Dame and Blue Holiday Tree

Tonight my friend Christine Buckley read at Shakespeare & Co, along with Michael Scott Moore, who wrote a book on the history of surfing. And guess who I sat next to? Janet Skeslien Charles! Paris is starting to seem very small – in a very good way!

The creative crew pointing to the chalkboard announcing Christine's reading. These are all fabulous women.

This was a really great evening that gave me warm fuzzies (wow, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually used that term before!) for just that reason: I feel more and more like there is a community of creative folks that I’m getting to know. I love showing up to events and knowing people, meeting friends of friends, and then we all become friends.

 

After those first few years of struggle, it’s so wonderful to feel that I have a place here. Paris can be a lonely city. Beautiful, but lonely. When you cross over though, and really start to find your people, everything changes.

The reading itself was interesting. I can’t say I’m much of a surfing aficionado, but the first author took us behind some of the cultural history of the movement in France, Germany, and Cuba. (Who knew? Apparently France has the biggest surf scene in Europe).

Christine then read part of her essay in the Best Women’s Travel Writing 2010 anthology and an excerpt from her memoir-in-progress about her Vietnamese family. (She has also co-authored the book Slave Hunter: One Man’s Global Quest to Free Victims of Human Trafficking).

Christine is a hoot. Her essay about finding herself in the middle of Vietnam when she spoke barely any Vietnamese was hilarious. With an old dictionary in hand, she surmised that her Vietnamese name either meant “beautiful velvet” or “lovely young antler.” The misunderstandings continued from there.

Continue reading ‘Travel by the Books’

Thank You!

Hello, friends!

I just wanted to thank you all for making my birthday so special. I was truly blown away by the number of nice comments I received. I am so grateful for you all – I feel as if I’ve gained a wonderful new community by starting this blog. Thank you for sharing the ride with me!

I promise a full post soon (perhaps even a Faux Pas Friday, as even on my birthday I managed one!), but for now just wanted to send a quick note of appreciation.

More soon! Bon weekend!

THANK YOU

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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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