Monday, March 21, 2016

A-Z Challenge: The Big Reveal

I have spoken quite a bit about this challenge over the past several weeks, and the time has finally come to reveal my theme.

Drum roll please....

Paris Impressions

For regular readers of this blog, my fascination with Paris comes as no surprise (and if you'd like to skip the back story and simply preview a list of April's posts, feel free to jump to the bottom).

But for those who are new here as part of the A-Z blog hop, perhaps I can give a quick bit of background information.

I have adored the idea of living in Paris since second grade when I studied French for the first time. As simple as it may sound, I was fascinated there was a corresponding French word for every one of our English ones. I fell in love with the language long before I ever set foot in the city.

My first trip to Paris was as a junior in high school. I was part of an exchange group where fifteen  students from my high school went to France for a month. We spent four days in Paris and then traveled south to Arcachon, where we lived with French families and attended the local school. Then six weeks later our French counterparts came to America and stayed with us.

While I had hoped to study abroad in France my junior year of college and perhaps backpack across the continent after graduation, that did not materialize. Instead, I chose to marry and raise a family.

I completely forgot about these childhood dreams until 2006 when I found myself teaching British Literature and longing to find a way students could relate to the material. A tour of London was just the ticket. So the following year I led my first of four European tours to London, Paris, Florence and Rome.

Paris is still my favorite. I even have a Paris room in my home where I can sit, stare out the "window" at Sacre-Coeur, and write til my heart's content.

As much as I adore the city, I do not claim to be an expert. There are other blogs that share their travel knowledge far better than I.

And as much as I enjoy Impressionist art, I am by no means an art historian. In fact, I used to quip I could tour the Louvre in thirty minutes flat. But I am fascinated by these rebels of the art world who chose to stay true to their vision rather than cater to social pressure.

I am currently working on a MG historical fiction novel that takes place in Paris in the 1880s. The A-Z challenge posts will introduce you to a part of that world, as well as share a few of my impressions of the city, and why I adore it.

The "challenge" is to write a post a day (except Sundays) - each day focusing on a different letter of the alphabet. While I reserve the right to change these daily topics as I see fit, this is the current timeline of April's posts. I will provide links as they become available.

Friday, April 1: A is for Artistes
Saturday, April 2: B is for the Boulangerie

Monday, April 4: C is for Cassatt
Tuesday, April 5: D is for Degas
Wednesday, April 6: E is for Escargot
Thursday, April 7: F is for Fromagerie
Friday, April 8: G is for Garnier Opera House
Saturday, April 9: H is for Haussmann

Monday, April 11: I is for Ile des Cygnes
Tuesday, April 12: J is for Jardins
Wednesday, April 13: K is for Kiss
Thursday, April 14: L is for (city of) Lights
Friday, April 15: M is for Moulins
Saturday, April 16: N is for Notre Dame

Monday, April 18: O is for Orangerie
Tuesday, April 19: P is for Patisserie
Wednesday, April 20: Q is for Quais de Seine
Thursday, April 21: R is for Revolution
Friday, April 22: S is for Sacre-Coeur
Saturday, April 23: T is for Trocadero Square

Monday, April 25: U is for Underground
Tuesday, April 26: V is for Vedettes
Wednesday, April 27: W is for Windowsills
Thursday, April 28: X is for XX Arrondissements
Friday, April 29: Y is for Yachts
Saturday, April 30: Z is for Zola

So why am I partaking in such a crazy event (I mean really... write blog post every. single. day. ?!) There are three reasons, really...

  • I have talked about writing / journaling / scrapbooking Paris for years now, and I never make the time. I'm finally going to make the time.
  • I want to develop a consistent writing habit. This will force me to take that first step, which I hope lasts long after April 30th.
  • I want to build a platform, but more than that, I want to connect with other writers / bloggers in a meaningful way. This provides a perfect opportunity to meet new people, interact with them via blog comments and Twitter, and hopefully continue these relationships into the future.
It's not too late sign-up if interested.... and you can certainly follow those participating without maintaining a blog yourself.

It will be fun - come join the party!


  1. This looks wonderful! Cassatt, Degas ..... among my favorites. :)

  2. Wow, that's the second historical Paris blog theme I've found today! May I introduce you to a blogger I *met* on another A to Z?

    Thanks for visiting Sue's Trifles and commenting.

    1. I love meeting new bloggers! Thank you for the introduction :)

  3. I look forward to reading them, Molly. :-)

  4. Great theme! And you already have your posts planned! I'm not even close.

  5. That's a fascinating theme. I've never been to Paris, I hear that (just like London) you hate her or love her.
    Let me see what I'll do at the end of this challenge ;-)

    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

    1. I hope you fall in love with her, Sarah :) Although, I do know Paris is not perfect...

  6. Wonderful theme, Molly -- I'll be following along! Bonne chance!

  7. I am looking forward to read your impressions. Paris is one of my favorite places in the whole world. A-to-Z-er Jetgirl visiting via Forty, c'est Fantastique

    1. I look forward to brushing up on my French via your April challenge posts :)

  8. This looks wonderful, Molly! I'll be a regular on your April posts... Paris fascinates me, too—and I love your "amateur" (i.e., non-travel-expert, non-professional-historian) approach... To me it rings like more of a curiosity-based perspective — which is much more attractive, I think. Yep. Looking forward to this series.

    Thanks for the visit over at Life In Dogs earlier — and for your lovely comment :)

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Guilie! I am looking forward to reading lots of interesting posts from all kinds of perspectives this April :)

  9. Molly, I am definitely looking forward to reading each of your April posts about Paris. I love the art, the architecture, the friendly people of the 70s, the chocolate, the wine . . .

    1. I did take a chocolate tour and a wine tour while there... I may have to do another A-Z challenge in 2017 to cover all the post ideas :) Thanks for stopping by!

  10. I've been to Paris at a time when I was a little too young to appreciate properly and remember much. Paris is a place, therefore, that I would totally want to visit again now that I'm all grown up. I'm a Gossip Girl fan and seeing them in Paris always had me squealing with excitement! I think I'll find your theme pretty interesting :)
    ~ Saraallie

    1. Thank you, Saraillie - I hope my posts will inspire you to re-visit this amazing city.

  11. Love your theme, Molly and the idea of exploring Paris, again, through your eyes. Great idea for your story and like how organized you are. Happy Writing!

    1. It is great to reconnect, Robin! I look forward to lots of April conversations :)

  12. You will enjoy this. I did it once before and it was great. And you chose a much more specific topic than it did. Have fun.

    Brett at Transformed Nonconformist

    1. Thank you for the words of encouragement, Brett :)

  13. What a lovely theme! My husband and I honeymooned in Paris many, many years ago. It will always hold a special place in my heart. Cheers - Ellen |

    1. A honeymoon in Paris - I cannot think of anything more wonderful :)

  14. Have to admit, I have only been to Paris once and that was because a bunch of us were touring Highlander filming sites :). Good luck with the AtoZ, I hope you have lots of fun with your Paris Impressions.
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  15. Fabulous theme! I visited Paris back in the 60s and loved it. Looking forward to your posts. No Tour D'Eiffel? ;) Just kidding. Some intriguing titles here. Enjoy the challenge.

    1. Well... I have a weekly French Friday meme where I already discussed the Eiffel Tower. I'm trying not to duplicate posts, but I'm sure the Iron Lady will make an appearance at some point during the challenge :)

  16. A brilliant and imaginative idea for this year's A-Z challenge. I have enjoyed three visits to Paris, so look forward to reading your posts and rekindling memories.

    1. I would love to hear your Parisian adventures sometime :) What is your favorite part of the city?

  17. This really looks like a good theme. See you next month!

    John Holton
    Blogging from A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    The Sound of One Hand Typing

  18. Paris is a fascinating city, so that is a totally fab theme. And you seem to have all your posts organised, too. All the best for an enjoyable and successful A-Z.

    Ninja Minion, A-Z 2016

  19. Thanks for visiting :)

    I've never been to Paris and probably won't get there (not fond of flying) so I'll look forward to reading your thoughts about it and you sharing a favorite place of yours!

    Have a fun challenge!


    1. Thanks for the return visit, Betty :)

      I hope I offer an adequate representation of this beautiful city.

  20. Wow! Great work!

    Your link works perfectly!
    Co-Host, 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge


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